Child Disability Payment Amendment Regulations: draft island communities impact assessment

The Islands Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA) considers the Disability Assistance For Children And Young People (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 in relation to their impacts on people living in the Islands under Section 8 of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018.

Demography and Health

37. According to the 2011 Census, 83% of island residents reported their health as being ‘Very good’ or ‘Good’ compared with 82% for Scotland as a whole.[16] The proportion of island residents with a long-term (lasting 12 months or more) health problem or disability that limited their day-to-day activities was just under 20%, including 9% who reported their daily activities were limited a lot.[17] The corresponding proportions for Scotland as a whole were very similar.

38. 17% of island residents are under age 16, which is the same proportion as per Scotland as a whole.[18]

39. UK wide, disabled people have higher poverty rates than the general population. Disabled people make up 28% of people in poverty. A further 20% of people who are in poverty live in a household with a disabled child. Data related to disability specific to island communities is not available.

40. In Scotland 410,000 households in poverty (42%) include a disabled person. Disabled young adults in the UK aged 16-24 years have a particularly high poverty rate of 44%[19].

41. Across Scotland, 1 in 4 children live in poverty. The longer a child experiences poverty, the greater the damage to their health, wellbeing and life chances.

42. Scotland-wide, there are higher levels of child material deprivation in households containing a disabled person, at 20% compared to households without a disabled person (at 8%). There are higher rates of food insecurity among disabled people (18%) compared to non-disabled people (5%). There is a higher likelihood of living in relative poverty after housing costs with a disabled person in the household (24% of families with a disabled person compared to 17% of families with no disabled members).[20]

43. Just over 9% of all children in Scotland in receipt of DLAC live in remote and island communities. In 2015-18, the poverty rate after housing costs for people in families with a disabled person was 24% (440,000 people each year). This compares with 17% (600,000 people) in a family without a disabled person.[21] If disability benefits are not counted towards household income, this rises to 30%. ‘Family’ in these circumstances refers to the core family in a household, comprising one or two adults and children, if any.

44. As of August 2020, there were 3,714 DLAC cases for children under age 16 across the six local authorities listed compared to 41,811 in Scotland as a whole.[22]

45. Research undertaken by the Scottish Government[23] and by stakeholders in 2020 have found that a lack of connectivity in rural or remote communities has been compounded by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. An absence of good quality internet connection can significantly impact on an individual’s ability to socialise and partake in cultural activities, particularly where people already have mobility restrictions as a result of a disability or health condition.



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