Welfare reforms having a large impact on young people
- 05 Jun
The UK government has been criticised about the impact of welfare reforms on young people.
The Scottish Government minister Aileen Campbell has hit out at the Conservative-led administration after it told the United Nations the changes will lift young people out of poverty. The report outlines the UK Government's "pride" in improving children's rights and its progress in trying to tackle inequality, reports The Evening Times.
It states: "The strategy outlines action to raise the incomes of poor children's families by helping them get into work and by making work pay. These include cutting tax for millions of people through increases to the personal tax allowance, reforming the welfare system through Universal Credit, which will lift up to 300,000 children out of poverty, and increasing the National Minimum Wage to £6.50 per hour from October."
However Ms Campbell, the minister for children, has said the report fails to reflect Scottish Government concerns.
She said: "The report does not reflect the Scottish Government's position on a key issue which continues to have a significant impact on the lives of children in Scotland. It describes the UK Government's approach to welfare reform but does not reflect our concerns about the impact that those reforms are having. It is particularly concerning that, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, an estimated 50,000 children in Scotland will be living in relative poverty by 2020 because of welfare reform and when housing costs are taken in to account, the figure could be as high as 100,000. This is unacceptable. In addition, the changes will disproportionately affect women largely due to their caring responsibilities and this will undoubtedly impact on family life. As has been made clear on a number of occasions, we believe that many of these reforms are regressive and they are not supported by the Scottish Parliament."
Linda Fabiani, an SNP member of Holyrood's Welfare Reform Committee, said: "Westminster's claim that their welfare cuts will help to reduce child poverty will be regarded as little more than a sick joke to the tens of thousands of households struggling to cope as a result of Westminster's decisions. For Westminster to make such an outlandish claim is bad enough, but for the Westminster Government to then suppress the views of the Scottish Government because they refused to sign up to their rose-tinted picture only makes matters worse. It is crude censorship and displays a shocking level of arrogance on the part of the Westminster Government."
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