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Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland: 2014/15

Categories: Articles:Social Justice | Published: 28/06/2016 | Views: 528
Statistics published by the Scottish Govt 28/6/16
This publication presents annual estimates of the percentage and number of people, children, working age adults and pensioners living in low income households in Scotland.  The estimates are used to monitor progress in reducing poverty and income inequality.  The data published for the first time here are for the financial year April 2014 to March 2015

Poverty in 2014/15 Statistics on poverty in Scotland in 2014/15 show a complex picture.   
Incomes for poorer households increased in 2014/15, but not as much as for middle income households, so relative poverty before housing costs increased in 2014/15.  However, real terms decreases in housing costs for those on a low income meant that poverty after housing costs remained unchanged. 

Absolute poverty remained unchanged before housing costs but decreased after housing costs.  Incomes were higher and housing costs were lower than the previous year.  This, combined with low inflation, meant fewer households were in absolute poverty after housing costs in 2014/15. 
Child material deprivation decreased in 2014/15.  Moves into employment, especially for those in lower income households, led to increases in household income.  This, combined with low inflation, meant fewer children lacking the basic necessities. 

There was also a decrease in the number of children living in workless households in 2014/15.  However, the move was largely into part-time employment, especially for lone parents.  For working families who also receive benefit income, especially families with children, increases in earnings were balanced against reductions in benefit income, combined with a one per cent cap on benefit up-rating.  People not in employment and reliant on benefit income saw the smallest increase in income in 2014/15.  

The proportion of people in poverty in working households increased in the latest year.  The move into employment was largely into part-time work, especially for women, meaning that while people were in employment, they remained in poverty. 

In 2014/15, income inequality increased.  The top ten per cent of households saw the largest increases in income while the bottom ten per cent saw no real change.  This has stretched the income distribution, resulting in low income households falling behind those in the middle and even further behind those at the top.   Read the full report here   You can also read the response of the Poverty Alliance to the Poverty and Income Inequality stats on the Justice and Peace Facebook Page
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