The Scottish Welfare Fund made 3,760 payments to people in Inverclyde in the last financial year, new figures show.
A total of 1,015 Community Care Grants and 2,745 Crisis Grants were awarded in Inverclyde over the year. The money helped people with essentials such as food, heating costs and household items.
The SNP introduced the Scottish Welfare Fund in 2013. The Fund is part of a £125 million annual package to mitigate the impact of UK government austerity.
Since its launch, the Fund has paid out more than £200 million to support over 336,000 households across Scotland, with a third of recipients being families with children.
SNP MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, Stuart McMillan, said:
“The Scottish Welfare Fund is a crucial lifeline for many people facing poverty or personal crisis.
“The fact that so many households in Inverclyde are in need of emergency financial help is appalling, and a sad indictment of the UK Government’s record on austerity and welfare changes.
“The SNP would prefer these resources were invested directly to tackle poverty rather than protecting people from Tory austerity. Indeed, the UN Special Rapporteur on Poverty described it as outrageous that the Scottish Government had to divert funds to protect people from Westminster’s mess.
“The SNP will continue to do everything in our power to tackle poverty and support low income families. It’s time for the Tories to end their austerity agenda and stop forcing Inverclyde families into poverty.”
SNP MP for Inverclyde, Ronnie Cowan, said:
“The Scottish Welfare Fund has been of vital importance to households in Inverclyde many of which are suffering due to UK Government austerity and those on Universal Credit having to wait at least five weeks to receive any payments.
“My constituency office regularly supports constituents where individuals and families are left without welfare support due to UK Government policy, such as losing their severe disability premium or transferring from DLA to PIP and receiving a lower rate of payment.
“As well as the Scottish Welfare Fund, the Scottish Government are taking a number of other actions to alleviate poverty and mitigate the effects of UK Government welfare reforms. They have increased the Fair Food Fund to £3.5 million in 2019-20.
“The Scottish Government will continue to work hard to tackle poverty and support low income families.”