A prominent public health expert has backed proposals to introduce a Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) saying it could help in Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic.
Professor Linda Bauld, chair of public health at the University of Edinburgh wrote in the Herald that research from other countries who have introduced similar measures have reported decreased depression, anxiety and loneliness levels in people in receipt of the scheme.
The public health expert described an MIG as a way of ‘guaranteeing secure and adequate incomes.’
It comes as the SNP committed to a minimum income guarantee in its manifesto to ensure everyone in Scotland can have enough money to live a dignified life by ensuring a minimum standard of living.
Commenting, SNP MSP Neil Gray (pictured) said:
“One of the lessons we need to learn coming out of the pandemic, which has also been highlighted by Professor Bauld, is that we need to be bold in our ambition to tackle child poverty and inequalities in our recovery from the pandemic.
“Introducing schemes such as a Minimum Income Guarantee not only ensures that people do not fall below a certain level of income, but the likely benefits on mental health of those who are receiving the payments.
“As we come out of the pandemic our mental health services could be facing an increase in demand as a result, but if we be bold in our thinking we can reduce the stress and strains on other areas of our services.
“Introducing this bold plan is a clear way of lifting thousands of families in Scotland out of poverty and I would urge all parties in the Scottish Parliament to back it so we can make real progress in creating a fairer Scotland.
“Scotland is on a different trajectory to the rest of the UK, as the Tories look to revert to type and impose more austerity on thousands of families, Scotland is widening the safety net to create a fairer and more equal society.
“Currently, the Scottish Government has been tackling poverty and inequality with one hand tied behind its back, with the full powers of independence we can introduce policies that are tailored for the people of Scotland and not dictated by the Tories at Westminster.”