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Welfare Reform: Effects on People with Disabilities in Scotland

Volume 613: debated on Monday 11 July 2016

19. What assessment he has made of the effects of welfare reform, benefit sanctions and work capability assessments on people with disabilities in (a) Glasgow and (b) Scotland.


The Government set out our assessment of the impact of the welfare policies in the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 on 20 July 2015, with similar assessments for previous changes. Spending to support people with disabilities and health conditions will be higher in real terms in every year to 2020 than it was in 2010.

Scotland and in particular my constituency, Glasgow East, has higher levels of long-term health problems and disability compared with the UK as a whole. People living with disabilities tend to be more dependent on benefits for a longer time and are therefore more vulnerable to changes to disability benefits. Given that this Government and their predecessor embarked on the biggest overhaul of the welfare state in living memory, does the Minister agree that it is vital for the Government to undertake regular cumulative impact assessments of welfare reform on those with disabilities?

The Treasury already publishes cumulative distribution analysis, including welfare spending, health spending, employment support and infrastructure investment, but we also need to consider increases in employment, increases in hours and earnings, universal credit, PIP, personal tax allowance changes, health spending, employment support and investment in infrastructure.