Health crisis causing financial hardship across Scotland

Low income households are the hardest hit by the financial impact of the coronavirus lockdown, a senior Scottish Government figure has confirmed.

Monday, 11th May 2020, 3:53 pm
There has been a 59 per cent increase in applications for crisis grants in March compared to the previous year. Photo: Michael Gillen

Social security secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville says there has been a 59 per cent increase in applications for crisis grants in March compared to a year earlier.

Ms Somerville said: “This unprecedented health crisis is disrupting lives and causing financial hardship across Scotland and will undoubtedly be felt keenly by those who were already struggling financially.

“The Scottish Government is determined to protect and support those affected as best we can, which is why we announced a number of financial packages in response to the Covid-19 situation, including a £350 million emergency fund to support welfare and wellbeing.

“Financial pressures continue, and it’s no surprise that the latest data shows a significant increase in applications to the Scottish Welfare Fund, from people struggling just to make ends meet. The Scottish Government and local authorities are currently paying out record levels of crisis grant funding and are more determined than ever to protect those most at risk in our society.

“This unprecedented health crisis is disrupting lives and causing financial hardship across Scotland and will undoubtedly be felt keenly by those who were already struggling financially.

“The Scottish Government is determined to protect and support those affected as best we can, which is why we announced a number of financial packages in response to the Covid-19 situation, including a £350 million emergency fund to support welfare and wellbeing.”