Report finds women in Scotland hit hardest by benefits cuts
MSPs have reported that women are being hit the hardest by welfare reforms.
A report by Holyrood’s Welfare Reform committee has said that the welfare reforms are having a disproportionate impact on women, reports the BBC.
The DWP have said that there were a record number of women in work in Scotland.
Scottish welfare minister Margaret Burgess said the Scottish government was working to help those affected.
Committee Convener Michael McMahon, a Labour MSP, said: “The evidence we have set out confirms the devastating impact on women of the UK government’s reforms to the social security system. Of particular concern is the cumulative impact on women hit by multiple benefits cuts. The UK government urgently needs to look at how women are being affected by these changes and we are also calling on the Scottish government to look at the gender impact of their own policy decisions.”
A spokesman for the DWP said: “Our reforms are fixing the welfare system to ensure it promotes work, helps people lift themselves out of poverty and puts public spending on a more sustainable footing. There is a record number of women in work in Scotland, and by sticking to our long term economic plan we can ensure more people have the peace of mind and security that comes with a regular pay cheque.”
Scottish welfare minister Margaret Burgess welcomed the recommendations in the report but said it was “alarming” that women were “twice as dependent on social security than men”.
She added: “Over the next few months we’ll be listening to the people affected by the welfare cuts and will be making sure we get the views of women on how we can create a system that suits their needs. Our new independent adviser on poverty and inequality will be looking at what more we can do to lift people out of poverty, we have invested £296m in welfare mitigation measures, extended our childcare and are encouraging employers to pay the Living Wage.”
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