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Scottish Welfare Fund grants are ‘Welcome but not enough to address poverty crisis’

Figures released by the Scottish Government today show that over 200,000 households have received emergency grants from the Scottish Welfare Fund in the last three years.

Susan McPhee, Head of Policy & Public Affairs at Citizens Advice Scotland, says:

“The Welfare Fund is a vital form of support for many CAB clients, so we of course welcome the fact that people are getting that support. However, Scottish CAB evidence makes clear that, even with this support, too many people are experiencing a gaps in income which drive them into poverty.

“Between 2012/13 and 2014/15, the number of Scots who came to their CAB seeking advice on how to get crisis support increased by 134%. In addition, we gave advice relating to foodbanks on over 7,400 occasions last year.

“These figures show that there’s plenty to be done in developing a social security system that is fair, equal and responsive. While the Scottish Welfare Fund grants are a key part in helping people through difficult periods, they are clearly not enough to prevent large numbers of people falling into poverty.”

 N.B. This has been updated to show that the number of people seeking advice on crisis support increased by 134% over a two year period, as opposed to over a single year.

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