28 January 2020

Scottish Government Statistics released today have highlighted a drastic and alarming increase in the number of applications for crisis grants.

The figures show that from July to September 2019, Local Authorities received 51,715 applications for crisis grants: a 16 per cent increase on the previous year.

Of the 51,715 applications made, 33,275 were awarded, a 15 per cent increase on the previous year which has helped raise expenditure on crisis grants to £3.2 million for the year. This represents a dramatic increase of 34 per cent on the previous year.

Local Councils that have been particularly hard hit include Clackmannanshire, Fife, Glasgow, Dumfries and Galloway, Shetland and Scottish Borders, all of whom have seem increases in applications of over 25 per cent.

Fife, Glasgow, Aberdeenshire, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Moray councils are all more than 10 per cent ahead of their budget compared to last year, raising the risk of Local Authorities running out of cash.

Commenting, Scottish Labour Social Security Spokesperson Mark Griffin said:

“This dramatic rise in applications for crisis grants is deeply worrying and highlights the strain our communities and local authorities are under in this time of austerity.

“The Scottish Welfare Fund has been hit with year-on-year real terms cuts since it was set-up, and these figures show the fund is at breaking point.

“Scottish Labour is clear - The SNP government must listen to councils at this year’s budget and deliver the funding and resources these councils so badly need.

“It is clear however that funding for local authorities is just the tip of the iceberg on this matter.

“Scottish Labour call on the SNP to work constructively with us in order to tackle the deep social problems that are driving so many men and women in Scotland to crisis grants.”
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