Scottish Government Statistics released this week have highlighted a drastic and alarming increase in the number of applications for crisis grants.
The figures show that from July to September 2019, Local Authorities received 51,715 applications for crisis grants: a 16 per cent increase on the previous year.
Of the applications made, 33,275 were awarded, a 15 per cent increase on the previous year which has helped raise expenditure on crisis grants to £3.2 million for the year. This represents a dramatic increase of 34 per cent on the previous year.
In West Dunbartonshire the number of applications made from July to September 2019 was 1,335 which represented a 6% increase on the previous year. Of the number of applications made only 1,080 were awarded, which represented a 2% decrease on the previous year. In total West Dunbartonshire Council spent £201,536 in 2019 on crisis grants between January – September 2019.
Commenting, Local Dumbarton Constituency MSP Jackie Baillie said:
“This dramatic rise in applications in West Dunbartonshire and across Scotland for crisis grants is deeply worrying and highlights the strain our communities and local authorities are under in this time of austerity.
“The Scottish Welfare Fund has been hit with year-on-year real terms cuts since it was set-up, and these figures show the fund is at breaking point.
“I am clear – the SNP government must deliver the funding and resources that councils like West Dunbartonshire so badly need in this years’ budget. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. I have called on the SNP to work constructively with Scottish Labour in order to tackle the deep social problems that are driving so many men and women in Scotland to crisis grants.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
See report here: https://www.gov.scot/news/large-increase-in-crisis-grants-paid-out/