Austin Macauley 21 October 2014

Welfare fund reaches 100,000 of Scotland’s poorest

Welfare fund reaches 100,000 of Scotland’s poorest image

An initiative set up to provide a safety net for Scotland’s poorest households after the UK Government scrapped the Social Fund has helped more than 100,000 vulnerable people in its first 15 months.

Between April 2013 and June this year the Scottish Welfare Fund (SWF) provided 70,000 crisis grants to low income families and community care grants to 43,000 households to help them live independently.

Latest data shows the average crisis support is £70 and is usually to help with food and heating bills. Some £980,000 was given out for food between April and June, up from £300,000 during the same period last year.

The fund has been administered by councils since its launch last year. Figures show £2m of community care grants were awarded for cookers, washing machines and fridges while £1.8m was for the refit of carpets and flooring. A further £130,000 was granted for clothing and shoes.

Ministers are now pushing ahead with legislation that will put the SWF on a statutory footing so that all local authorities will be required to maintain a fund. Councils will also have the option of running the SWF jointly with other local authorities.

Welfare minister Margaret Burgess said: ‘It is heartbreaking to see the impacts of welfare reforms laid bare, with people coming forward and applying for help to buy everything from food to shoes to beds.

‘It is totally unacceptable that in a country as wealthy as Scotland anyone should be living in poverty and unable to afford items that many of us take for granted.

‘These figures show that demand for the Welfare Fund is high and is reaching out to those in the most deprived areas of Scotland. That’s why it is important that we take forward our new Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill to set out how welfare funds will operate within local authorities to help those most in need.

‘We have already set out in the Scottish Government’s submission to the Smith Commission that we need to have full responsibility over welfare and employment powers. Only full powers over welfare, employment and social policy will help us to tackle poverty and allow Scotland to become a fairer country.’

Overcoming the barriers to Commercial Card use image

Overcoming the barriers to Commercial Card use

Want to reap the benefits of Commercial Cards but coming up against some challenges? James Sykes, Head of Commercial Cards, Lloyds Bank and David Legg, Head of Corporate Card Products, Lloyds Bank, discuss how the payments industry is helping organisations unlock their true value.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Environmental Health/Environmental Protection Officer - Noise

Tower Hamlets London Borough Council
£41,607.00 - £44,598.00
This post attracts an essential car user allowance. The post holder is able to take part in the Council's flexible working scheme. Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Director of Financial Services (Deputy Section 151)

London Borough of Waltham Forest
£110,118 to £118,864
his is a great opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge that will lead to becoming a Section 151 Officer. Waltham Forest, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Waltham Forest

Director of Business Development

North Yorkshire County Council
50-60k + relocation allowance
We are looking for a dynamic and innovative person to help us deliver our ambitious new strategic objectives set out in... North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Strategic Service Manager - Bridgend Youth Justice Service

Bridgend County Borough Council
£44,863 - £45,859 per annum
An exciting opportunity has presented to lead Bridgend Youth Justice Service. Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Corporate Property Surveyor

Ashford Borough Council
£34,476 to £37,158 pa - plus Lease Car or Cash alternative of £2,080 pa
Ashford Borough Council has a long and proud record of driving high quality place making. Ashford, Kent
Recuriter: Ashford Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue