Date lodged: 18 October 2016
To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to change the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) to better reflect the personal financial circumstances of households that are living in relative levels of poverty but do not reside in SIMD poverty catchment areas.
Answered by: Kevin Stewart 27 October 2016
The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation uses reliable administrative data sources to identify relative deprivation across the whole of Scotland, not just areas commonly associated with poverty. Any planned changes to SIMD are recommended by the ‘Measuring Deprivation Advisory Group’, which is a group of experts from academia, local government, NHS and other services. The income aspects of SIMD relies on benefits and tax credits data from the Department of Work and Pensions and HMRC. The current limitations on sharing data with these UK government departments means it is not possible to look more closely at households' personal financial circumstances.