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  • Author or Editor: Laura Robertson x
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The Get Heard Scotland (GHS) at The Poverty Alliance, is a programme designed to engage with members of communities affected by poverty and those working at the grassroots level regarding the development and implementation of policies intended to address poverty and social injustice. The Get Heard programme inputs independent feedback into policy processes, focused on the commitments made by the Scottish Government in the Every child, every chance: child poverty delivery plan 2018–2022 in Scotland (CPDP). As part of this work interview research has been undertaken with 32 families across two local authorities in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic. This chapter will highlight the experiences of low-income families within a devolved policy context and provide insights into their lived experiences as well as reflections on conducting research during the pandemic.

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Moving disabled people ‘off benefits and into work’ has been an explicit aim of work-first welfare reform since 2008, increasingly punitively since 2010. The aim of this article is to demonstrate, for the first time, how Universal Credit (UC) fits with and intensifies that strategy. Empirical data from 28 in-depth interviews with 19 claimants (nine were interviewed twice) and three focus groups with 23 Jobcentre staff show how UC full service applies mainstream job search conditionality to people with mental health problems. Ongoing fear of sanctions, financial hardship, surveillance and social isolation relating to digital design had adverse impacts, including for those without previous mental health problems.

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