Unique measures helping to tackle crisis in Scotland

Angus South MSP Graeme Dey has said that support not available elsewhere in the UK is making a real difference to people in Scotland as the country continues to face price rises.

Mark Dowie
Saturday, 23rd July 2022, 3:00pm
Unique measures helping to tackle crisis in Scotland

It comes as new data from the End Child Poverty coalition shows Scotland to has the lowest level of child poverty across the nations and regions of the UK.

Mr Dey said that the Scottish Government has allocated almost £3 billion in this financial year to help families and households through the cost-of-living crisis. This includes support for energy bills, childcare, health and travel – as well as social security payments unique to Scotland.

From family benefits to free school meals to concessionary travel on public transport, he said devolved policies are helping households mitigate the increased cost of living.

Taking those examples, funding for 2022-23 includes £294.4m for the Scottish Child Payment and other family benefits such as Best Start Grants, Best Start Foods and Bridging Payments; £64m is allowing for universal provision of free school meals during term time for children in P4 and P5, and alternative holiday provision for eligible children, and concessionary travel is being funded with £306m investment.

A further £437m is also helping with household bills via Council Tax and Water Charge Reduction. The Scottish Child Payment is being increased to £25 per child per week when extended to under 16s by the end of this year.

Mr Dey said: “The Scottish Government is doing all it can within its limited budget and powers to support people here in Angus and across the country through the current cost of living crisis. It is clear that unique approaches Scotland are making a real difference to so many people's lives, keeping more families and children out of poverty.

“But it is Westminster that holds most of the powers needed to fully tackle this crisis – over energy, the minimum wage, National Insurance, 85% of social security spending, borrowing – which is why the SNP will continue urging them to use these and all fiscal headroom at their disposal on a comprehensive, long-term action plan.”

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