This report marks the first of three, as part of our Rethinking Social Security programme. In this report we set a new direction for social security provision in Scotland, that sets our sights on securing a ‘living income’ for all, delivered through a minimum income guarantee, alongside action to deliver good work for more people and to reduce costs through stronger collective services.

We set out a proposal for realising a minimum income guarantee (MIG) for Scotland in 2030, and – just as crucially – some of the first steps that can be taken towards it in the next parliament. We outline three key features of a minimum income guarantee:

  1. an MIG is a universal guarantee, delivered through a targeted payment
  2. an MIG should aim to realise a minimum acceptable standard of living for everyone, recognising different needs
  3. an MIG should be designed to reduce poverty, inequality, and insecurity, as a payment people can rely on.

To meet the long-term aspirations of delivering a minimum income guarantee would need further powers over both social security and tax. The report outlines first steps that could be taken within Scotland’s existing powers, and options for raising tax revenue to help deliver them.