Relative poverty in Scotland, before housing costs, decreased in 2013/14. Rates for children are the lowest since this series started in 1994/95. This reflects more people moving into employment, and increases in hours worked. In particular there was a shift from part-time employment to full-time employment for those on the lowest incomes.
However, after housing costs are accounted for poverty in Scotland has not decreased to the same extent. This is particularly true for families with children. This reflects rent values increasing at a faster rate than income, combined with changes to housing benefit eligibility, meaning little improvement in the standard of living.
Median income increased in Scotland in 2013/14 and was higher than UK median income. However, inflation continued to grow at a faster pace than earnings and the uprating of most benefits. Therefore increases in income have not necessarily resulted in improvements in people’s standard of living, and combined low income and child material deprivation has continued to increase.