TORY CUTS UNDERLINE NEED FOR FULL POWERS OVER WELFARE
The Scottish Welfare Fund made 1,285 payments to people in Midlothian and 1,305 to people in East Lothian in the last financial quarter – to help pay for essentials such as food, heating costs, and household necessities.
A total of 220 Community Care Grants and 1065 Crisis Grants were awarded in Midlothian, and 340 Community Care Grants and 970 Crisis Grants were awarded in East Lothian between July and September 2019 - an increase of 2% in Midlothian and 23% in East Lothian compared to the same period last year.
The stats come just days after a new report revealed that the most vulnerable will be hit hardest by the UK decision to leave the EU, and Brexit will lead to increased job losses, the cost of living and food prices pushed up, and reductions in public spending.
Since its launch in April 2013, the Scottish Welfare Fund has paid out almost £220 million to over 357,000 households across the country – with 28,390 households in Midlothian and 24,455 households in East Lothian receiving help from the Scottish Government fund.
In total a third of households receiving awards were families with children.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“The Scottish Welfare Fund is a vital lifeline for many people facing poverty or crisis.
“But the fact that so many households in Midlothian and East Lothian have been forced to turn to the fund for emergency financial help is extremely concerning.
“The Scottish Government spends millions every year shielding Scots from UK Government welfare cuts. That our devolved Government should have to protect its citizens from the cruelty of the UK state is unacceptable and unsustainable.
“And with the threat of Brexit still alive – the risk is real that tens of thousands more people could be pushed into poverty in Scotland, and left at the mercy of this heartless Tory government.
“Only with full powers over social security can we begin to make Scotland an equal country with a dignified and fair welfare system. Until then, the SNP will continue to do everything in our power to tackle poverty and support low income families.”