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Millions lost to Falkirk economy as benefit cuts bite

Dramatic changes to the welfare system means less money will be paid in benefits

Dramatic changes to the welfare system means less money will be paid in benefits

 

The Falkirk economy will be a million pounds a week worse off as a result of changes to the welfare system.

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 – the most significant change in the system in 60 years – is slashing millions of pounds in the benefits paid to Falkirk people, leaving them with less to spend.

And, during a meeting of Falkirk Council’s scrutiny committee on Tuesday, councillors heard that figure could rise when all the changes were implemented.

Policy official Fiona Campbell said: “The estimated impact is £48 million pounds per year in the Falkirk Council area, or £470 per working age adult claiming benefits.”

The committee, chaired by Provost Pat Reid, also heard that the Salvation Army soup kitchen, mental health charities and the Scottish Welfare Fund had experienced a significant increase in demand for their services.

Councillors also received an update on the work of external organisations funded by the council to provide debt and money advice services.

Factfile:

Between October 2012 and June 2013, 1880 unemployed people saw a cut in benefits due to DWP sanctions.

Research shows those most vulnerable to santions are also the most disadvantaged, thosewith mental health problems and domestic abuse victims.

Since April 2013, 2460 households have been affected by size critera resulting in an annual housing benefit loss of £1.196 million.

 

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