Scottish Welfare Fund grants see a 13% rise in applications
- 29 Apr
Latest figures have found that more households are applying for grants to help pay for expenses such as heating and food.
Data from the Scottish Government has shown that the number of applications to councils under the Scottish Welfare Fund has increased by 13% in just the last year, reports The Courier.
Over the most recent quarter, October to December 2014, a total of 23,715 grants were awarded, which was a 10% rise in the same period of the previous year.
Local authorities awarded £1.7 million in crisis grants, with an average value of £72, predominantly for food and essential heating costs.
Community care grants also rose by 15%, which is what is given for home furnishings and white goods.
Welfare minister Margaret Burgess said: "Scottish Welfare Fund grants are a vital lifeline for people in crisis.
"Since the fund launched in April 2013, 135,000 households have received help to buy everyday items and with basic living costs including eating and heating. It's so important that we continue to reach out and that's why we are making £33 million available this year to the Scottish Welfare Fund to help low-income households."
Since the scheme began two years ago, about 55% of households receiving funds were classed as single with no children. Around a third are households with children.
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