Benefits changes ‘will increase poverty’

CONTROVERSIAL changes to the welfare system will “wind the clock back” by more than a decade in terms of child poverty levels, a think-tank adviser has warned.

Dr Jim McCormick, Scotland adviser with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said UK government proposals aimed at simplifying the benefits system would put the country on track to miss child poverty alleviation targets.

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Dr McCormick was appearing at the first meeting of Holyrood’s welfare reform committee, set up to scrutinise the Welfare Reform Bill currently passing through Westminster.

The bill will bring in a £26,000-a-year household benefits cap and set up the universal credit for benefits.

Dr McCormick said the benefits package being proposed would be “substantially poverty increasing”.