Austerity will push a further 80,000 Scots children into poverty, warns report

Child poverty is forecast to see a rise of 80,000 by 2022. Picture: John Devlin
Child poverty is forecast to see a rise of 80,000 by 2022. Picture: John Devlin
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About 80,000 more children in Scotland will be plunged into in poverty in the coming years as a result of austerity cuts, a human rights watchdog has warned.

And the most marginalised Scots are the biggest losers from the tax welfare reforms imposed between 2010 and 2018, according to new research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Poorer families, severely disabled people and female lone parents are among those in Scotland whose household income has suffered the biggest hit.

The impact of combined changes to tax, social security and local authority services between 2010 and 2022 was eaxmined in the research by the EHRC.

The hardest hit is predicted to be families with at least one disabled adult and one disabled child who stand to lose £5,000 a year on average - equivalent to a tenth of their income.

Child poverty is forecast to see a rise of 80,000 by 2022, as a result of the tax and welfare changes between 2010 and 2018.

EHRC Scotland head John Wilkes said: “The findings show just how stark and how unequal the combined impact of the recession, austerity and public spending cuts have been.

“Using this new approach to assess the combined impact of tax and spend policy reveals that it is the most marginalised who have suffered the most.

The forecast impact of changes to tax, welfare and local authority services is uneven across race and gender with white households predicted to lose £550 on average between 2012 - 2022.

Black households lose more £2,900 and Asian households lose an average of £1,200, the research also finds. Women are estimated to lose an average £250 a year, compared to £40 for men.

A UK government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government’s significant powers now include tax-raising and deciding how to allocate funding between public services.

“At Budget, we reiterated our commitment to the people of Scotland by increasing the Scottish Government’s budget by £950 million.

“And last year the Department of Work and Pensions delivered £15.7 billion of welfare spending in Scotland to support those most in need.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government says the report sets out its efforts to mitigate the “damaging impact” of UK government welfare policies.