Kirsty McKechnie's blog

Tracking the impacts of welfare reform in Scotland

The Scottish Government has published its fourth and final annual report on the impacts of welfare reform in Scotland, looking back to reforms introduced since 2010 and looking ahead to 2020. The report focuses on the financial impacts of welfare reform which are expected to reduce annual spending in Scotland by £3.9 billion by 2020/21. The report is comprehensive in its findings in relation to the financial impacts but what does this mean for the families affected?

Early warnings about the lower benefit cap

The reduction of the benefit cap from £23,000 to £20,000 per household is currently being rolled out across Scotland. If someone is entitled to benefits and tax credits in excess of the cap, they will have their housing benefit reduced. As the person who gathers case evidence for CPAG in Scotland’s Early Warning System (which looks at how welfare reforms impact on families) I can tell you about some of the people who are already being affected by the lower cap.

Looking at the tax credits cuts ahead of the Autumn Statement

The Chancellor announced a number of cuts in his Summer Budget that will impact on parents receiving tax credits or universal credit. The cuts will reduce the number of parents receiving tax credits and the level of support that is received.