Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on tackling financial insecurity over winter

Guidance to local authorities to help tackle financial insecurity and support households with food and fuel over the winter


The combined impact of colder weather, rises in unemployment and losses in income due to the COVID pandemic, the continuing restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19 and the uncertain impact of EU Exit will likely increase levels of financial hardship.

Local authorities will be able to use their allocation from this package of resource to flexibly and pragmatically meet a range of needs related to financial hardship. Measures that strengthen household budgets are encouraged as far as possible, to reduce the need for food aid and other charitable provision of essentials. However, it is recognised that access to alternate provision such as a voucher, food parcel or meal, fuel voucher, or other direct support will be preferred or more appropriate in some circumstances.

Local authorities have shown leadership in providing and coordinating local responses alongside third sector and community organisations and local businesses. The National Helpline and local helplines will continue to play a key role in ensuring that those who need help are able to access the full range of support services available locally. This should act as a single gateway to financial, material and social support by seamlessly connecting services and offerings across sectors, and providing pro-active outreach to the most at-risk groups.

As we navigate the routemap for moving out of lockdown using Scotland’s Strategic Framework the responses will continue to evolve. Separate flexible funding is in place to support local authorities during Tier 4 restrictions to support households at risk to access food and other essentials.

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