Welfare Reform

The Scottish Government have highlighted research into the impact of the recent welfare legislation. In a bulletin on The Gender Impact of Welfare Reform concern is expressed over what is seen as a disproportionate impact on women as many benefit recipients are female (for example child benefit is often payable to the mother). What needs to be recognised is that many of the impacts will be felt by families and, in many instances, by lone fathers who are the responsible carer for their children.

Interestingly, the executive summary of the fuller analysis http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/welfarereform/analysis/welfarereformanalysisgenderimpact suggests that changes in the way Universal Credit is structured may result in the return to the ‘male breadwinner’ type of society with incentives for one partner in the household moving into employment whilst weakening the incentives for the second partner to look for work.

Concern is also expressed about potential lack of knowledge about the Scottish Welfare Fund which has been set up to counterbalance some of hardship brought about by the erosion of benefits through the Welfare Reform Act 2012. This fund is administered by the local authorities and more information can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/welfarereform/scottishwelfarefund

Andrew Gardiner
Fathers Network Scotland