Views from the public are being invited as the Scottish Government takes forward work to establish a minimum income guarantee ("MIG") for the country.
MIG is a policy to tackle poverty and inequality but is not simply a benefit payment. It could be met through a combination of employment, tax relief and social security benefits and also services in kind, such as childcare and transport. However, at almost any level of payment it would be expensive: a potential annual cost of £7bn for Scotland alone has been suggested.
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison, who is co-chairing a new steering group on the policy, has launched a consultation to gather views on how MIG could be designed and delivered in Scotland. People are asked in particular for their views on what should be the key elements of MIG; what are the main benefits, challenges and risks; whether certain groups should be given particular attention when considering how it would work; and what first steps should be taken.
Ms Robison said: "We are committed to progressing the delivery of a Minimum Income Guarantee, which could be revolutionary in our fight against poverty. It is a clear demonstration of our ambition and aspiration for Scotland."
She added: "We recognise this is a cross-government responsibility and we are focused on working together to push forward poverty reduction in Scotland...
"Introducing a Minimum Income Guarantee will not be easy and it will not happen overnight, but there is a willingness to deliver on our ambition."