We have conducted a research to study the “Impact of Welfare Reform on the Turkish and Kurdish communities of Hackney”.
Why we carried out the research?
From our observations of Derman welfare advice service users, we infered that a lot of Turkish and Kurdish people in Hackney will be affected by the changes. We aimed briefly assessing the financial, social and psychological impact of welfare changes.
Changes in benefits
• 75% have been affected by the benefits cap and welfare changes and the bedroom tax has affected 32% of the participants.
• 36% have been affected by other changes to their benefits. The most common other change was paying the council tax and the rent (because their council tax benefit and/or housing benefit have stopped).
• Mean weekly loss was £46.75 (SD=52.69). Maximum weekly loss up to £150.
• Mental health problems were experienced by 44% of the participants.
• 34% of the participants reported that they were experiencing family problems
• 15% reported that welfare changes affected their childcare.
• Other effects included problems with anger management, losing weight and chronic illness getting worse.
Many Turkish and Kurdish residents of Hackney will be financially affected by the welfare changes. They started experiencing stress, anxiety and domestic problems. Most of them had to change their lifestyles. They reduced their expenses like food, bus pass, social spending or children’s expenses. Many of them borrowed money from their relatives. We suggest this will affect the second generation more drastically and will also increase the burden on mental health services, GPs and advice services.