SOME budget cut proposals may have "significant impacts" on those who "already experience socioeconomic disadvantage", according a Clacks Council report.

An equalities impact assessment carried out by a senior manager at Kilncraigs, dated December 14 and revealed to the Advertiser by a member of the public last week, highlights how families would be hit if plans go all the way to the chopping board.

The purpose of the assessments, in general, is to ensure there is no unlawful discrimination arising from council decisions.

It is also to promote equality of opportunity and to foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

Looking at the impact on the latter two points, the council's own assessment said: "Some aspects of the budget proposals may have significant impacts.

It then identified certain examples, such as "proposed school closures, reductions in school transport, primary school class reconfigurations, reductions in subsidised transport, reductions or cessation of funding to community or voluntary organisations".

The report also noted the "cessation of employability and apprenticeship programmes, increases in fees and charges, reduction of funding for advice services, reductions in local leisure provision and closure of community facilities" as likely to have a huge effect.

Since April 2018, there has been a legal obligation on the council to pay due regard to how it can reduce inequalities caused by socioeconomic disadvantage, or poverty, when making strategic decisions – this is called the Fairer Scotland Duty.

On this point, the above quoted list of measures could be repeated with the document adding: "It is likely that these proposals will have a significant impact on those families and people on: low incomes and those in-work poverty; receiving key benefits and affected by Universal Credit.

"Groups most likely to be affected are: lone parents; those with disabilities; large families already experiencing poverty and care experienced young people.

"Families who experience crisis through socioeconomic disadvantage will also be impacted from the proposals on funding to community and voluntary organisations which includes funding to the food bank and services which support vulnerable young people.

"From our evidence it is likely that women will be disproportionately impacted by the proposals."

The assessment also shows young and old people would be hit; the former by education cuts, both by transport and the latter cohort by reductions to the third sector.

There would also be an impact on people with disabilities, again through slashing transport and the third sector as well as employability and apprenticeship programmes.

Around 75 per cent of the council's employees are female.

Previous baseline assessments have indicated Wee County women experience income and employment deprivation; therefore, proposals to slash apprenticeships, schools and transport "are likely to have a disproportionate impact on women".

When the document was created, it did call for further engagement with certain groups to "fully understand the impact on [their] protected characteristic".