Laura Sharman 16 December 2015

Poorest in Scotland face 'double whammy' of cuts warns think tank

Those claiming benefits in Scotland are facing a cut of over £800 per year following last month's spending review, new analysis has revealed.

Think tank IPPR Scotland said £500m will be cut from benefit claimants by 2020 due to the chancellor's income tax and benefits decisions in the spending review.

The research also shows that non-protected departments in Scotland will also face cuts of 2.9% next year, and a reduction of around £1.5bn by 2020.

Russell Gunson, director of IPPR Scotland, said: 'Despite the headlines on the day of the UK Spending Review welcoming the scrapping of proposed cuts to Tax Credits across the UK, we can see that this was more about cuts delayed, rather than cuts avoided.

'By 2020, many thousands of the poorest households in Scotland will see their incomes drop by hundreds of pounds each year, while the richest households in Scotland will benefit through tax cuts.'

The think tank suggests that raising council tax in line with inflation could raise £100m a year, while a 2% increase in business rates could bring in £50m year to local authorities.

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