Sturgeon announces new funsing for Scotland’s poorest

Crucial financial support worth £33 million will help people in times of need in Scotland, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today.

Local authorities have been allocated  funds from the newly created Scottish Welfare Fund to provide Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants to the disabled, elderly, lone parents and other vulnerable groups.

The money is awarded to people facing a financial crisis and in need of short term help, and to help people get essential household items to set up or stay in their own homes, rather than be in care.

In October, the Scottish Government announced an additional £9.2 million for the fund, to reinstate funding cuts by Westminster in recent years – taking the total value of the fund up to £33 million.

Ms Sturgeon said: “It is absolutely imperative that vulnerable people in Scotland are protected and cared for during these tough economic times.

“Westminster has responded to this recession by imposing drastic welfare cuts which will affect some of our most vulnerable groups, including the elderly, the disabled and the unemployed.

“But this government will not turn its back on vulnerable people.  The new Scottish Welfare Fund will ensure that these groups are provided with the necessary grants to assist them in times of need.

“Welfare is, unfortunately, a reserved matter. That means we are limited to arguing against unfair welfare reforms, and mitigating the impact on people wherever that is possible. But the scale of the UK government’s changes means we simply cannot help everyone who is set to be effected.

“In contrast, if Scotland were to become independent, we would have full control of the welfare system. Only then would Scotland have the powers needed to guarantee  that our most vulnerable families and groups are protected.”