South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has revealed that families in Dumfries and Galloway will see a £25m cut in income by 2020/21 as a result of welfare reform measures introduced by the UK Government.

The figures have been revealed in the week a series of events take place across the region to mark ‘Challenge Poverty Week’.

According to the Annual Report on the impacts of the UK Welfare Reform Act 2012, over £10m per year will be lost to local families in Dumfries and Galloway as a result of the freeze in benefits, £8.3m will be axed as a result of cuts in work related benefits, £2.8m from cuts to tax credits for families with more than two children, £2.3m due to the bedroom tax (although the difference is being made to families from the Scottish Welfare Fund) and £100k due to the benefit cap. The total of £25m is the equivalent of £282 per adult in the region.

Commenting on the figures South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “Too often people see poverty as a problem for the big cities. But the reality is Dumfries and Galloway is the lowest paid region in Scotland, it suffers from some of the highest levels of fuel poverty and almost a quarter of children locally live in poverty. That is nothing short of a scandal”.

“However, the problem is set to get worse with £25m per year being taking from the pockets of some of the poorest families in Dumfries and Galloway as a result of benefits changes being made by the UK Government. This week there are a whole host of events being held in Dumfries and Galloway to mark challenge poverty week, showing the great work taken place by the council and local charities to support people facing the impact of poverty. However, this work is often about responding to the symptoms. We need to tackle the root causes and that means ending austerity and benefits cuts and giving people in employment a decent living wage.”  



Reduction in welfare spending from Conservative government measures by 2020/21 by local authority


(taken from )



Financial loss (£millions):


Work Allowance cuts

Tax credit
2 child

Bedroom Tax 2

Incapacity benefit






Total by
















Dumfries & Galloway









Challenge Poverty Week takes place from 15-21 October 2017. Details can be viewed here including a calendar of events:


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