Applications for crisis grants from the Scottish Welfare Fund are soaring, with a 16 per cent increase compared to last year, official statistics show.
Figures published by the Scottish Government today reveal that, from July to September 2019, Local Authorities received 51,715 applications for crisis grants – a 16 per cent increase compared to the same period the year before.
The most common reason for people applying for the grants was people running out of money, with 25,245 or 49 per cent of applications identifying ‘benefit/income spent’ as the reason for applying.
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) said the figures exposed the need for reform to social security, and action on the cost of living.
CAS Social Justice Spokesperson Mhoraig Green said:
“The soaring numbers of people turning to the Scottish Welfare Fund for help should absolutely shock Scotland. People across the country are facing a crisis of income.
“Today’s figures show that more needs to be done to tackle the causes of income crisis, particularly reducing the five-week wait for Universal Credit payments and high deductions to repay debt that leave people without enough to live on.
“We’re also calling on the UK government to ensure that working people on Universal Credit get to keep more of what they earn.
“People who are struggling should know that their local Citizens Advice Bureau can check to ensure they are getting all the benefits they are entitled to, and if they could be paying lower bills for utilities and council tax.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Report available here: Key points: From July to September 2019, Local Authorities received 51,715 applications for Crisis Grants (16 per cent more than the same period previous year). Decisions were made on 51,405 applications, with 33,275 awards made (15 per cent more than the same period previous year), and the acceptance rate was 65 per cent (the same as last year).