The annual Welfare Reform Report has revealed estimates that the UK Tory Government’s welfare cuts will lead to a whopping £3.7 billion fall in social security spending by 2021 in Scotland.
The report estimates that of all the cuts inflicted by the Tories through their welfare reforms, the Benefit Freeze has the biggest impact, reducing spending by around £190 million in the current year, rising to around £370 million by 2020/21.
The report furthermore reveals that the first year of the Two Child Limit has resulted in reduced incomes for around 3,800 families in Scotland. Each year, the parents of more children and ultimately the children themselves will lose out on up to £2,780 per year because they were born after the arbitrary April 2017 cut-off date.
The UK Tory Government’s decision to reduce Universal Credit (UC) work allowances, each year sees more and more people in work lose out as they move onto UC. By 2021 working UC claimants in Scotland are expected to lose around £250 million per year in total.
Director of the Poverty Alliance, Peter Kelly said:
“Scotland is a compassionate country where we all believe everyone should have a decent standard of living. The help that people receive through social security is important in helping to make that happen. This report shows that more needs to be done.
“In order to ensure everyone has a decent standard of living we need to see an end to the freeze in benefit levels. The cost of living hasn’t been frozen, so it’s right that social security payments should keep up with those costs.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“The Equalities and Human Rights Commission estimated that the with their tax and welfare reforms, the UK Tory Government will have pushed an additional 80,000 Scottish children into poverty after housing costs between 2010 and 2021/22.
“Tory MSPs are happy to represent a party which actively inflicts cuts on the most vulnerable, pushing them into poverty.
“I fully support SNP Government Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People Shirley-Anne Somerville in her calls on the Tory Government to put an end to these devastating cuts.”
Challenge Poverty Week runs from Monday 01 until Sunday 07 October. More than 100 groups and organisations are expected to take part in the annual event to highlight the problem of poverty in Scotland.