Social security and tax reforms have hit disabled people in Scotland the hardest says EHRC

Wed,20 March 2019
News Benefits

The combined impact of tax and social security reforms since 2010 “has hit the poorest households in Scotland hardest”, according to new research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

This report summarises the main findings for Scotland from a cumulative impact assessment carried out in 2017 to 2018, of the impact on protected groups under the Equality Act 2010 of:

  • changes to the tax and social security (welfare) systems in England, Scotland and Wales since 2010
  • changes in public spending on other services such as health, education and social care since 2010

The EHRC highlight that the biggest losers are families with at least one disabled adult and one disabled child, who stand to lose £5,000 year on average due to tax and welfare reforms, equivalent to one-tenth of their income.

In addition, the EHRC estimates that household income in Scotland will drop by 5% for severely disabled people, and that -

  • the pattern of losses for disabled men and women across the income distribution is similar, with larger losses (around £1,500) for men and women in the bottom third of the household income distribution.
  • in general, households with greater numbers of disabilities lose more on average than households with fewer disabilities.

The EHRC recommends that the Scottish Government mitigates the disproportionate negative impacts on poorer households and protected groups of changes to the tax and social security system and cuts to spending on public services.

It says for example, that this could be done by increasing the rates of benefits under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Government, and by increasing spending on in-kind public services such as health, social care, education and public housing.

The EHRC report Single mothers, black families and disabled people will lose out in tax and spending plans is available @

See also: