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Budget cuts 'will hit poorest Scots hardest' says CAS

Citizens Advice Scotland have said the welfare cuts in today’s Budget will impact most sharply on those who are least able to cope, and that more people may be forced into poverty and foodbanks as a result.

CAS Head of Policy Susan McPhee says:

“We are very concerned about the impact these cuts will have on the poorest and most vulnerable Scots – many of whom have already been hit hard by the previous welfare reforms. Once again it looks like the burden is falling on those who are least able to cope.

“Last year Scottish CAB advisers saw a 71% increase in the number of people who needed to be referred to foodbanks. Our concern today is that these cuts will drive that trend to increase even more.

“We of course welcome the move to a living wage economy, but it looks like for most people this will not be enough to off-set the impact of the wider cuts. We note too that the projected minimum wage rise to £7.20 next year still falls short of the Scottish living wage which is currently £7.85.

“The freezing of working age benefits for four years is a cut in real terms. And some of the welfare cuts appear to have been focussed sharpest at young people in society - many of whom will be left without adequate support, particularly those who have no families to support them.

“Anyone who is concerned about their finances can get expert advice from their local CAB or  phone 0800 085 7145. CAB advice is free, impartial and confidential.”