Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh & Lomond has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that those who are most in need during the current crisis are actually given the financial help required.
This follows analysis by the Scottish Labour Party which revealed that extra cash injected into the Scottish Welfare Fund is not being handed out.
Assuming a rolling monthly budget of £4.75m, the analysis of monthly management information on the Scottish Welfare Fund has revealed an underspend of £1.4 million in April 2020 – the month Universal Credit applications peaked across the UK.
The data, released today, demonstrates that spend on the Scottish Welfare Fund’s Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants increased by only £0.38m in April 2020, even after £23m was injected into the fund at the start of the pandemic.
Jackie Baillie has made calls for those who have been hit the hardest by the economic impact of Covid-19 to have full access to all available emergency funding.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“Research by Scottish Labour acts as evidence that money may not be reaching those who need it, and that the Scottish Government must do more to ensure that those who are eligible and in need are accessing the Scottish Welfare Fund.
“I know of hundreds of individuals and families in my constituency who have seen a significant loss in income and find themselves suddenly without work. These people are in desperate need of emergency aid and it is essential that the Scottish Government ensure that help is being provided.
“We are only just beginning to understand the devastating economic impact of this crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people across Scotland will require income support for many months to come and the Scottish Government must ensure that the money reaches those who need it most.”