Welfare cuts will increase poverty, says Oxfam Scotland

By staff writers
January 27, 2013

Oxfam Scotland has backed a report by Dr Jim McCormick and SCVO on the impact of social security cuts, saying they will increase poverty.

Judith Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland, was commenting in a latter to Scotland on Sunday newspaper (27 January 2013) on a very harding hitting analysis from the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations published earlier this month.

She writes: "As Oxfam pointed out in June last year, the poorest ­people in Scotland, and across the UK, are facing a perfect storm of increased job insecurity, rising prices and falling incomes.

"Oxfam is clear. In the short term the coalition government must reverse cuts to working tax credits and social protection payments like unemployment benefit.

"If the government is determined to press ahead with replacing most benefits with Universal Credit, then it should implement the rational proposals put forward in the SCVO report. Failure to do so will result in increased levels of poverty.

"And the government needs to clamp down on tax evasion and tax avoidance.

"HMRC’s own estimates say that tax avoidance and related problems are costing the country £32 billion a year. Tax Research UK believes the tax gap could be as high as £120 billion.

"That money belongs to all ?of us and could be used to lessen the impact of public service cuts that always hurt the poorest and most vulnerable the most.

"In the longer term we need to have fair play in taxation, so that we can tackle the huge and increasing gap between the richest in society and the rest of us.

"And we need to change the way we look at our economy, putting people and investment in employment ahead of short-term profit," concludes Oxfam Scotland's Ms Robertson.

* Oxfam Scotland: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/scotland/blog

* SCVO: http://www.scvo.org.uk/


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