Children hit hard by benefit changes

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Local Democracy Reporting Service

Health board bosses said child poverty is likely to “worsen significantly” in the area in the next five to 10 years.

By 2020 to 2021 welfare reforms are estimated to lose Ayrshire claimants £82 million annually according to research from Sheffield Hallam University. 

A report presented to the NHS Ayrshire and Arran board said “austerity measures, such as welfare reform, will have a lasting impact” on vulnerable families. The cutbacks will particularly affect families with lone parents, disabled people, young mothers and those with three or more kids.

Statistics in the report show 24 per cent of children in South Ayrshire are living in poverty. The four-year benefit freeze, changes to child tax credits and other cuts are leaving struggling families with less money.

The paper ‘Update on Child Poverty and Welfare Reform’ was on the health board meeting agenda recently. Health bosses have produced a child poverty action plan and an individual action report is being developed for South Ayrshire.