Wales feels impact of UK welfare reforms

Women in Wales are more likely to be adversely affected than men by UK-wide changes in the benefits system, according to a new report. They are also likely to lose more compared with men.

The report is the third in a series commissioned by the Welsh Government to improve understanding of how the changes will affect different groups of people in Wales.

Key points

  • Women are more likely than men to be hit, and are expected to lose the most from a number of reforms. In the case of universal credit they will gain the least. Universal credit will all be paid to one member of a household: for couples, this is likely to be the male, which could potentially disadvantage the female.
  • Non-working lone parents, of which around 90 per cent are female, are one of the groups that will see the largest income losses.
  • Couples will be worse off if there is a second earner in work.
  • There will be significant impacts on disabled people in Wales – as a result of universal credit, and of changes to benefit and tax credit indexation, disability living allowance, incapacity benefit, employment and support allowance and housing benefit.
  • Carers of disabled people may lose their entitlement to carer’s allowance as a result of the move from disability living allowance to the personal independence payment. In addition, under universal credit a carer will only be entitled to either a carer or a disability element, not both. This will mean some carers with health problems will be worse off.
  • Some disabled children, disabled people without an adult to assist them, and disabled people in work could lose some of the disability support they receive under the current system.
  • Some changes, such as the household benefit cap, are likely to have a disproportionate impact on black and minority-ethnic claimants because of characteristics such as the tendency for family size to be larger.
  • By contrast, pensioners are largely unaffected by the changes, as most of them apply only to working-age people.

SourceAnalysing the Impact of the UK Government's Welfare Reforms in Wales: Stage 3 Analysis, Welsh Government
Links: Report | Summary | Welsh Government press release | Inside Housing report

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