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UK welfare cuts pushing more families into poverty

Published: 01 Oct 2018 00:01

New report shows devastating impact of UK Government cuts.

Thousands of individuals and families across Scotland are being forced into poverty as a result of UK welfare cuts.
The cuts imposed by the UK Government will continue to reduce welfare, by 2020/21 social security spending in Scotland is expected to have reduced by £3.7 billion since 2010, a new report has found.
 
The annual Welfare Reform report finds that the UK Government’s benefit freeze alone has led to huge reductions in spending – around £190 million in the current year 2018/2019, rising to around £370 million by 2020/21.
 
The report has also found that Universal Credit claimants are over six times as likely to be sanctioned as claimants of any other legacy benefit, and young men are the most likely to be sanctioned.
 
Commenting on the findings, Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
 
“These figures in this comprehensive report lay bare the devastating impact of the UK Government’s welfare cuts for people, families and communities across Scotland.
 
“As ever it is the poorest and most vulnerable in our society who are suffering the most, those out of work and those in low paid employment finding their benefits effectively being cut year after year.    
 
“The Scottish Government is doing what we can to protect people on lower incomes by, this year alone, investing over £125 million on mitigation measures - £20 million more than last year – and an additional £350 million for Council Tax Reduction.
 
“Over the coming years, we will use our new social security powers to provide increased financial support for people on low incomes, including the Best Start Grant, the Job Grant and Carers Allowance Supplement.
 
“We will also continue to promote the living wage, invest in housing and tackle child poverty as we continue to provide support to Scotland’s low income families and communities.” 
 
Background
 
The findings come in the Welfare Reform Report, an annual publication that reports on the impact in Scotland of the UK Welfare Reform Act.  The full report will be published later today (Monday).
 
The Welfare Reform (Further Provision) (Scotland) Act 2012 placed a statutory obligation on Scottish Ministers to report on the impacts of the UK Welfare Reform Act each year until 2017.