POLICIES aimed at tackling poverty in Scotland's most deprived communities do not always benefit the country's poorest people, new research has found.

Disabled people, minority ethnic groups, lone parents and older people who suffer from high levels of poverty, but do not necessarily live in the poorest communities, can miss out on vital help.

The research was published today in a report by Heriot-Watt University for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The report found that some groups, such as new migrants, who may face financial and social exclusion, often live in poor- quality housing, but not necessarily in the most deprived areas.

It also found that where groups do live in the poorest areas, they do not always benefit from place-based policies because the reasons for their poverty may differ from those around them.

For example, a disabled person may be excluded from the labour market because they need specific support with transport.

It has prompted calls for an approach based as much on group identity as geography to improve equality.

Commenting on the report, Commissioner Kaliani Lyle said: "Much of the Government's strategy to tackle poverty in Scotland is a concentration on the poorest 15% of areas.

"We do not dispute that this is necessary, but we are concerned that an over- reliance on place may discriminate against those people in poverty who don't live in those areas."