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Impact Of Welfare Reforms On Households To Be Examined

29th December 2014

New research on the impact of welfare reform on Scottish households has been commissioned by a Scottish Parliament committee for 2015.

The research for the Welfare Reform Committee will be carried out by Professors Christina Beatty and Steve Fothergill of the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University. For the first time, the research will aim to measure the impact of the UK Government's welfare reform agenda on different household types.

It will aim to break down the numbers of people affected by the different reforms into 15 household groups. These include pensioners, lone parents, and couples with or without children.

The committee is due to report its findings in Spring 2015. The resultant statistics are expected to become an essential tool for government and local authorities in shaping targeted responses and service delivery.

Committee Convener Michael McMahon MSP said:"Our previous research allowed us to pinpoint communities worst affected by the impact of benefits and sanctions changes. The committee has also heard the very personal experiences of individual benefits recipients. This new research will now allow us to build a picture of how welfare reform is impacting on different household types, including pensioners, single parents and couples."

The research follows two previous reports which measured the financial impact of welfare reform on Scotland as a whole and by local authority area, and the impact down to ward level.

Deputy Convener, Clare Adamson MSP said: "The Scottish Welfare Fund is going some way to alleviating the worst effects of the bedroom tax and benefits sanctions. This research will help local authorities and others better target resources in support of the people that need it most."

Professor David Robinson, head of the Centre for Regional Economic Social Research at Sheffield Hallam, said: "This important research builds on our track record of looking at how welfare reform has affected people and places.

"This work is particularly important because it looks at the impact of changes on different households. It builds on work by Professors Beatty and Fothergill, recognised as world leading in the recent Research Excellence Framework assessment."

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The Welfare Reform Committee has previously reported on:

• The Impact of Welfare Reform on Scotland
• Local Impact of Welfare Reform

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