Poverty report offers 'robust advice' to Scottish government

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An independent report on poverty in Scotland has made 18 recommendations to the Scottish government on how it could tackle the issue better.

Poverty and inequality advisor Naomi Eisenstadt's report focuses on how ministers can improve the life chances of young people.

She made recommendations around employment, housing and mental health.

Nicola Sturgeon said she welcomed the "robust advice" offered to the Scottish government.

The first minister also confirmed the creation of a new independent Poverty and Inequality Commission, which will run initially for two years.

Douglas Hamilton, director of the RS Macdonald Charitable Trust, has been appointed as chairman and Ms Eisenstadt and race equality advisor Kaliani Lyle as deputies.

The Scottish government said the commission's first task would be to provide advice to ministers on the first child poverty delivery plan, which is due in April 2018.

'Challenge government'

Ms Eisenstadt's report, The Life Chances of Young People in Scotland, is her second since she was appointed by Ms Sturgeon in 2015.

The review also reflects on the action taken so far by the government on poverty.

Ms Sturgeon said: "When I appointed Naomi in June 2015, I was clear that I wanted her to challenge the government and scrutinise the work we were doing to alleviate poverty and inequality.

"Her first report made a number of useful recommendations and we are making significant progress in implementing these, as the progress report also published today shows.

"Naomi's latest report, The Life Chances of Young People in Scotland, provides a useful challenge to the Scottish and UK governments to do more to improve the life chances of young people from less advantaged backgrounds and to build a fairer future."

Ms Eisenstadt said: "In working on Life Chances, I have met some extraordinary young people and was impressed by the dedication of the people who work with them.

"I hope this report will help to improve their chances for the future."

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