UK & Scot Gov must act on appalling increase in crisis grants to prevent hunger & homelessness

The Scottish Greens today urged by the UK and Scottish Governments to act on “appalling” figures showing a big increase in people applying for crisis grants to prevent them from going hungry or having nowhere to sleep.

The latest Welfare Fund statistics show that from April to June 2018, Local Authorities in Scotland received 45,290 applications for Crisis Grants, 7 per cent more than the previous year. They also show a 69 per cent increase in people giving the reason: “Emergency - nowhere to stay and may resort to rough sleeping”.

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

“The growing need for crisis funds in our wealthy society is simply appalling. It shows the human impact of the UK Government’s cruel austerity agenda, with cuts to benefits harming people’s physical and mental health. The huge increase in people applying for a grant because they are at risk of homelessness is especially concerning.

“I fully expect these figures to be met with cold indifference from the Conservatives but I hope they prompt SNP Ministers to be bolder in their approach to preventing poverty. They must look again at uprating devolved benefits in line with inflation and topping up Child Benefit, and they must increase investment in genuinely affordable housing.”