- Created on 11 October 2012
Latin American communities, who have a significant presence in Southwark, are also being hit hard by the changes to the benefits system.
Carolina Gottardo, Director of the Latin American Women's Rights Service (LAWRS) has written about the introduction of the 'Universal Credit' and its impact on the services they are now struggling to provide. The realities, as opposed to 'policies' are extremely distressing for all concerned.
The LAWRS has two battles on their hands, increased demand for services on one, and struggle to keep the funding on another. Their waiting list for women who need advice on housing, welfare, money and debt is growing. Too many women they see are extremely anxious about whether their families will actually be able to survive those changes to the benefits system.
The utterly unfounded stigma is another issue – the women LAWR support are already being stigmatised as 'benefit scroungers'. In reality, the employment rate for Latin American communities is much higher, and only 1 in 5 Latin Americans claims benefits (much lower than the average). The most vulnerable women, who often have high levels of education, struggle to make ends meet and work in low paid, low skilled jobs.
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