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Ripping money from the hardest hit

This opinion piece is about 8 years old
 

John Dickie, head of Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, explains why cuts affecting the poorest members of our society risk adding £6 billion to the public spending bill

John Dickie
John Dickie

Further evidence (if further evidence was needed)of the brutally unfair and disproportionate impact of the UK government’s current approach to welfare reform was published this week by Holyrood’s welfare reform committee, produced by researchers at Sheffield Hallam University.

The report starkly sets out the correlation between financial loss from benefit changes and levels of local deprivation. Unsurprisingly, a glance at the End Child Poverty map of child poverty also shows the communities that are hardest hit are communities that already have some of the highest levels of child poverty in Scotland.

It really is disgusting that we are ripping money out of the very places that need it the most

It really is disgusting that we are ripping money out of the very places that need it the most.

Evidence from Child Poverty Action Group's (CPAG's) own early warning system shows how these financial losses translate into real misery for individual families, undermining efforts to improve outcomes and opportunities for children in Scotland.

These unprecedented cuts are not only undermining children's wellbeing, they are robbing local business of much needed income and storing up huge costs for all of us in the long term as we try and fix the health, educational and social damage poverty causes.

Research for CPAG suggests the additional cost of increased levels of child poverty associated with benefit cuts will add £6 billion to the £29bnn that child poverty already costs the UK.

If UK ministers are serious about preventing poverty and a fair approach to deficit reduction, it’s surely now time to urgently rethink their misguided and fast unravelling approach to social security.

John Dickie is head of Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland.

 

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