The Scottish Welfare Fund made 5,275 payments to people in Dumfries and Galloway in the last financial year, new figures show.

A total of 1,150 Community Care Grants and 4,125 Crisis Grants were awarded in Dumfries and Galloway 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 in April 2013, 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 Joan McAlpine said:
“The Scottish Welfare Fund is a vital lifeline for many people facing poverty or personal crisis.
“The fact that so many households in Dumfries and Galloway 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 Dumfries and Galloway families into poverty.”
The Crisis Grant aims to help people in financial emergency, such as those struggling on low incomes or benefits                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Community Care Grant aims to, among other things, help people set up home or help families facing exceptional pressures                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
In the UN Special Rapporteur on Poverty, Professor Philip Alston praised Scotland’s “ambitious” schemes for addressing poverty, including the Fairer Scotland Action Plan and the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan. He noted Scotland’s “promising social security system, guided by the principles of dignity and social security as a human right, and co-designed with claimants on the basis of evidence”
The Scottish Government’s response to the Special Rapporteur’s report shows UK Government welfare cuts have increased the risk of deprivation for low-income families across Scotland

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