BENEFITS claimants in Glasgow will be hardest hit by new welfare reforms, according to new research.

It found the changes will be equivalent to every working age adults in the city losing £400 a year, West Dunbartonshire losing £390 a year and North Ayrshire £380.

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The report to the Scottish Parliament shows the most deprived areas of Scotland will be worst affected by the reforms introduced since the 2015 General Election.

The biggest financial losses are expected to come from the four-year freeze in most working age benefits and from reductions in work allowances within Universal Credit.

On-going changes from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payments and reductions in Tax Credits also result in large losses.

Researchers found the new, lower benefit cap of £20,000 per household is likely to hit 11,000 households in Scotland with an average loss of £2000 a year. The pre-2016 cap affected only 900 Scots households.

The new figures show that by 2020, Scottish claimants can expect to lose just over £1billion a year as a result of the reforms.

The report says: “The biggest impact falls on Glasgow where by 2020-21 the post 2015 welfare reforms are estimated to result in a loss of £167million a year, equivalent to £400 a year for every adult of working age in the city.

“The parts of Scotland least affected by the reforms are North-east Scotland, Orkney and Shetland and the relatively affluent districts of East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire.

“There are no surprises in this geography. It is remarkably similar to the picture we identified in our 2013 report on the earlier round of welfare reforms in which Glasgow was again the worst affected place.

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“The parts of Scotland hit hardest by the new round of reform such as Glasgow lose twice as much on a per capita basis as the least affected local authorities.

“As a general rule, the more deprived the local authority, the greater the financial hit.”

Glasgow MSP Sandra White, convener of the Scottish Parliament social security committee, said the report showed welfare reforms are not working.

She added: “Our welfare system was meant to be a safety net to help those most in need in our communities.

“Yet this research shows the biggest losers from the latest round of UK Government welfare reforms are once again the poorest in our society.

“I hope this research acts as a wake-up call to the UK Government that their approach to welfare reform just isn’t working.”

City council leader Frank McAveety said: “When welfare reforms amount to little more than slashing the welfare budget, the poorest people in our society will always lose out.

“We warned, years ago, that Glasgow would be hit hardest by these changes – quite simply because more people in this city rely on that vital safety net, which is now being cut away from underneath them.

“However, it’s not just the Tories that need a wake-up call. The Scottish Government is doing the exact same thing to local government services.

“In recent years the Scottish Government has added millions on to Tory cuts before passing them on to Glasgow – and it’s the poorest communities which suffer the most.”

The Scottish Parliament will also hear about research by Glasgow University which found benefits sanctions are not helping people get people back into work.

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Research project co-investigator Dr Sharon Wright said: “Our research highlighted a sanctions regime that was failing by even its own standards.

“With many people not even knowing why they have been sanctioned in the first place, it’s highly unlikely to lead to a positive outcome.

“Instead, we see people being pushed away from available support – often with grave consequences for themselves and their families. “