Wed 13 May, 2020

The Scottish Government must step up and use the powers it has to deliver whatever support it can now Alison Johnstone

Scottish Greens have backed calls from poverty campaigners to get more financial support quickly to families struggling during the CIVID-19 lockdown.

Highlighting “grave concern” that the current crisis is plunging more families into crisis, a group of children’s charities and anti-poverty organisations including The Poverty Alliance has written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urging the Scottish Government to use existing devolved welfare powers to get emergency support urgently to families. 

Responding, Scottish Greens social security spokesperson Alison Johnstone said: “I share the very serious concern that despite the uplift in UK-wide benefits, child poverty in Scotland is being exacerbated by this public health crisis.

“When Aberlour’s urgent assistance fund has seen a 1400% increase in applications, there is no doubt that the UK’s welfare system continues to fail as an effective safety net. That’s why the Scottish Government must step up and use the powers it has to deliver whatever support it can now, not wait for next year’s Scottish Child Payment.

“The charities have offered five ways this could be done, and I urge ministers to look at these without delay. It’s vital that out of this crisis we build a fairer, greener and more equal Scotland, not repeat the mistakes of the past.”

 

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