MSP welcomes measures to tackle poverty

Local MSP Adam Ingram has welcomed measures to tackle the impact of Westminster welfare reforms which will receive £104 million of Scottish Government support next year.

Eight million pounds will be allocated to funding advice services which support those affected by welfare changes and for the delivery of the Emergency Food Aid Action Plan which helps organisations combat food poverty in Scotland.

Around £35 million will be divided between local authorities to support people affected by the bedroom tax.

£38 million will be allocated to the Scottish Welfare Fund and its delivery. The Scottish Welfare Fund provides a safety net to people in an emergency or a disaster and helps people on low incomes access household goods.

In addition, the Scottish Government is committing a further £23 million funding for the Council Tax Reduction scheme which supports vulnerable people in meeting their Council Tax liabilities.

The £104 million forms part of the Scottish Government’s draft budget for 2015-16.

To date the Scottish Government’s welfare support has:

Carrick MSP Mr Ingram said: “It is unacceptable that anyone should be living in poverty in a country as wealthy as Scotland.

“The Scottish Government recognise there is still a problem which is why they are taking action and setting aside £104 million in next year’s budget to tackle poverty and inequalities and to help those affected by welfare changes.

“By allocating £38 million to the Scottish Welfare Fund and its delivery, they are making sure that they continue to reach out to those in the most deprived areas of Scotland. This Fund will help families access support and help to buy everyday items that many of us take for granted.

“We are still paying a heavy price for Westminster’s welfare reforms, this investment will help to mitigate the effects of these cuts on some of our most vulnerable households.

“Full responsibility over welfare and social policy is the only way that this Scottish Government can tackle poverty and create a more prosperous and fairer society.”