Scottish Welfare Fund assistance tops £181m
More than £181 million in emergency funding has been accessed by low income households in Scotland since 2013.
From when the Scottish Welfare Fund scheme began on 1 April 2013 until 30 September 2018, a total of 316,095 individual households have received awards totalling £181.6 million.
The fund helps people during times of crisis to buy everyday essential items like food, nappies or toiletries and to cover heating costs or other living expenses.
Grants are also given to people facing disaster or emergency situations, such as flooding as well as helping families facing exceptional pressure with one-off costs for items such as a washing machine or cooker.
Social security secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “The fact that nearly a third of a million households in Scotland have required help from the Scottish Welfare Fund is a sad indictment of the UK Government’s record on welfare cuts.
“While it is absolutely right that we should help those individuals and families who find themselves in dire financial straits, it is appalling that so many find themselves in that position in the first place.
“The figures also highlight the very real consequence of the UK Government’s maladministration of UK benefits system. Delays and errors in payments are forcing people to turn to the Scottish Welfare Fund to get them through immediate hardship.
“That is why we will provide local authorities with £33 million in the next financial year – to support hard pressed families who, through no fault of their own, need help to simply get by.”
Statistics show that from 1 July to 30 September, 9,495 Community Care Grants and 28,950 Crisis Grants were made by local authorities, with the most common expenditure for a community care grant being floor coverings, beds and bedding, and kitchen appliances such as cookers, fridges, freezers and washing machines. For crisis grants, awards were for food, essential heating and other living expenses. This takes the total number of households helped to 316,095 since 2013 when the Fund was established.
The full statistical publication is available here.