Welfare urgency underlined, says SNP

The SNP says the urgency of Scotland gaining the ability to make its own welfare choices was underlined this week as new statistics show more people than ever are being provided help through the Scottish Welfare Fund.

The figures show that in Dumfries & Galloway, between July and September 2014, there were 1,394 applications to the Scottish Welfare Fund, a 7% increase on the same period in 2013. Crisis Grants experienced a 10% increase, with applications numbering 1,017 in July – September 2014.

Commenting, Aileen McLeod MSP said: “The fact that the Scottish Welfare Fund is providing more help than ever before in Dumfries & Galloway shows that people are now more aware of the support available to them.

“However it is a scandal that in a country as wealthy as Scotland, there are still so many people living in poverty – and an increasing demand on these emergency funds.

“The Scottish Welfare Fund is an important example of the kind of action the Scottish Government has taken using the powers it currently has to try and mitigate Westminster’s welfare cuts.

“But as long as welfare decisions remain at Westminster, Scotland’s least well off will remain at risk of further Westminster cuts supported by Labour and the Tories. We need to be able to make our own welfare choices in Scotland, and the only way to secure these powers is by electing a strong team of SNP MPs in May.”