Scottish Welfare Fund allocation for Renfrewshire is not enough.
Renfrewshire Council is calling for a fairer allocation of the Scottish Welfare Fund as data shows the area receives 6% of all Crisis Grant applications despite having just 3% of the national population.
By the end of July the council had already paid out a significant amount of its Scottish Welfare Fund from the government for 2014/15 – that’s despite focusing payments towards high priority applicants who need support the most.
Councillor Mike Holmes, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “We need an urgent and full review of the way the Scottish Government allocates its Scottish Welfare Fund to each council. The need in Renfrewshire is much greater than the government’s allocation, meaning our residents are not receiving the support they deserve.
“Last year we had to use our own resources to make sure the Welfare Fund didn’t run out, and it’s already clear that what the government has given us for this year won’t last – and that’s absolutely not good enough.
“We’re doing the best we can with what we have been given, but– even with a focus on high priority applicants who need support the most – it’s clear that what we’ve been given by the Scottish Government is inadequate.
“Local families have been pushed to the brink by harsh welfare cuts and the spiralling cost of living and I call on the Scottish Government to give Renfrewshire Council an adequate and fairer proportion of its overall Welfare Fund resource so that we can continue to offer a crucial safety net to families in crisis for the rest of this financial year.”
During the first four months of this financial year, the council paid out £155,881 in Crisis Grants and £306,290 in Community Care Grants (amounting to 39% of its Scottish Welfare Fund).
An update of the Scottish Welfare Fund spend to the end of July will go to the Finance and Resources Policy Board on 27 August 2014. The Board will also be asked to approve a draft response to a Scottish Government consultation on the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]