Scottish Government allocated extra funding to support low income families

The Scottish Government’s Scottish Welfare Fund payments have risen to £37.6 million, a rise of 7% on the previous year.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, social security secretary

The funding was allocated to support people and families on low incomes in times of need in the 12 months to 31 March 2020. Scottish Welfare Fund payments included £12.9 million in Crisis Grants (up 24%) and £24.7 million on Community Care Grants.

The fund received 296,870 applications for help, with the most common reason families gave being their benefits or other income had been spent, up 27% on the previous year.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, social security secretary, said: “This is further evidence that the UK Government’s benefits cuts are hitting the poorest in Scotland the hardest, with more and more people struggling just to make ends meet and being pushed to rely on food banks, or suffer from the stress of debt and rent arrears.

“That’s without taking into consideration the significant financial impact that COVID-19 is having on some of those earning the least in our society. We took early action in March to more than double the Scottish Welfare Fund to £80.5 million this year in response to the expected impact of coronavirus, and we have made an additional £110 million available to support people struggling to access food during the pandemic. 

“That funding will help local authority partners continue to support people at this time and we would encourage anyone in need of support to apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund.”

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