In August, the Institute for Fiscal Studies released a report which showed that Scotland is second only to South-East England, out of eleven regions surveyed, in terms of median income with much of the improvement coming under an SNP administration. Now the Scottish Household Survey, today indicates 56% of households reporting that they managed well or very well in 2016. This is a 15% increase on 1999 but, notably, an 8% increase in the last four years. Given that the government of the day is blamed for negative trends, we have to give at least some of the credit for this and other positive trends, described below, to them too.
Institute for Fiscal Studies reveals Scotland to have become more affluent than every other part of the UK bar the South-East of England and that much (most?) of this improvement has come under the SNP
The survey, summarised on the Scottish government website, suggests other signs of improvement for many in Scotland. I appreciate that this still leaves an unacceptable level of poverty in the country for others.
Here are some of the main points:
- Nine out of ten people rate their neighbourhood as a good place to live.
- An extra 20,000 households owned their home outright in 2016 compared to 2015.
- The number of people rating their neighbourhood as a very or fairly good place to live was 95% in 2016.
- 83% of adults held a qualification in 2016 – compared to 77% in 2007.
- 88% of people who use local schools are satisfied with the quality of service – remaining broadly similar to previous years.
- Recent attendance at a cultural event or place of culture has increased from 78% to 83% in the last four years.
With recent reports on the quality of Scotland’s NHS, falling unemployment, rising wages and the SNP’s progressive policies such as those on tuition fees, care for the elderly, baby boxes and bedroom tax compensation and the above improving results might be predictable to some extent.
Further contributing to the survey results, you might think, Scotland already has the lowest rate of child harm in the UK. See:
‘Latest data: In 2015, the rate of children on a CPP or Child Protection Register was in the mid-40s per 10,000 across Wales, England and Northern Ireland. The rate in Scotland was considerably lower at 27 per 10,000. (p88)
Latest data: In 2014 the Infant Mortality Rate across the UK was 3.9 deaths per 1,000 live births: 3.9 in England and Wales, 3.6 in Scotland, and 4.8 in Northern Ireland. (p15)
Latest data: The mortality rate per 100,000 population for children aged one to nine years in 2013/2014 was 12.1 in the UK overall and 12.2 in England and Wales, 11.8 in Northern Ireland and 11.1 in Scotland. (p20)
Education Minister, John Swinney said:
‘Our purpose is clear. We want Scotland to be the best place in the world to bring up children, the best place to grow up and be educated, the best place to live, work, visit invest and do business, the best placed to be cared for in times of sickness, need or vulnerability and the best place to grow old.’