Funding to help people struggling financially during the winter is part of a new £41 million support package.
The Winter Support Fund will help those on low incomes, children and people at risk of homelessness against a backdrop of rising living and fuel costs.
Key elements of the package include:
£10 million to help people who are struggling to pay fuel bills
£25 million flexible funding to help local authorities support wellbeing and respond to financial insecurity based on local needs
£6 million for third sector partners to support low income families
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison MSP said:
“The SNP Government has invested £2.5 billion to support low income households in 2020/21, with around £1 billion focused on supporting children as a cornerstone of our national mission to tackle child poverty and homelessness.
“That includes doubling the Scottish Child Payment to £20 per child per week, with our plans to do so set out in the forthcoming Scottish Budget.
“We are passing on every penny of the £41 million we received in UK Government consequentials, but this in no way makes up for the Tories’ recent £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit, which has taken an estimated £460 million from the pockets of the people in Scotland who need it most.”
Support for those struggling with fuel bills will include access to fuel top-up vouchers, advice to manage fuel debt and support for those in remote and rural areas.
The Winter Support Fund will continue to promote cash-first responses in line with our draft national plan on ending the need for food banks as a primary response. In some cases help may also be offered to tackle social isolation and support mental health.
The SNP Government’s COVID Recovery Strategy sets out our vision for recovery and the actions we will take to address systemic inequalities made worse by Covid, make progress towards a wellbeing economy, and accelerate inclusive person-centred public services.