30 July 2019

New statistics from the Scottish Government reveal that demand for the Scottish Welfare Fund is increasing, despite real terms cuts to its funding.

In 2018/19, local authorities received 193, 230 applications for crisis care grants (11 per cent more than the year before) and made 125,155 awards (5 per cent more than the previous year).

The figures come only a day after a new report from the Social Metrics Commission revealed one in five people in Scotland are living in poverty, with the level increasing over the past two years.

The Scottish Welfare Fund has received a flat budget of £33 million each year since 2013, amounting to a real terms cut of £3.5 million after inflation.

Analysis from Scottish Labour suggests that if the same level of funding continues there will be a real terms cut of £7 million by 2025.

Scottish Labour has called on the SNP government to increase investment to the Scottish Welfare Fund, a key means of protecting and supporting vulnerable people.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said:

“Despite increasing demand for its services, the Scottish Welfare Fund and local councils are being starved of cash by the SNP.

“With families using food banks and struggling to get by, this fund has never been more needed.

“Without additional funding from the SNP government this fund is in jeopardy, and it will be the most vulnerable people in our communities who will continue to lose out.”
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