News

Nearly 300,000 households helped by emergency funding

Published: 31 Jul 2018 09:46

Fund helps low income households through difficult times.

New figures show that 296,520 low income households have been helped to pay for essential items such as food and heating through emergency grant funding since 2013.

A total of £164.8 million has now been paid through the Scottish Welfare Fund, which 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

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Any of us can face an unexpected expense.  But that is harder to absorb if you are already struggling to survive.  At those times it is only right that government offers support rather than a cold shoulder.  And that is why the Scottish Government created the Scottish Welfare Fund, a vital lifeline for people in times of need, allowing them to cover the everyday necessities that many of us take for granted.

“I am pleased that the fund has been able to help nearly 300,000 households across the country.  But I’m also angry that the damaging and continuing UK Government cuts to welfare are pushing more and more people into poverty.

“The Scottish Government is spending over £125 million this year alone trying to allay the very worst effects of these harmful cuts and protect those on low incomes. Local authorities are dealing with new applications every week and we will continue to do all we can to support hard pressed families and individuals who, through no fault of their own, are struggling to make ends meet.”

Background

The Scottish Welfare Fund comprises of Community Care Grants – which help people to live independently – and Crisis Grants, which provide a safety net in a disaster or emergency. 

Statistics show that 39,410 Community Care Grants and 118,750 Crisis Grants were made by local authorities in 2017/18.  Since the scheme began over half of those households receiving awards (54 per cent) were single person households with no children, and one third of those households (33 per cent) included children.