Renfrewshire Council’s Depute Leader will write to the Scottish Government to warn that a crucial support fund for vulnerable people will run out before the new allocation arrives.
Councillor Mike Holmes, Renfrewshire Council’s Depute Leader, will ask Nicola Sturgeon to reconsider the Scottish Welfare Fund amount given to Renfrewshire as figures reveal the council’s amount for 14/15 is set to run out in February – with the new allocation not arriving until April.
Councillor Mike Holmes said: “Last year we had to use our own resources to top up our Welfare Fund, while at the same time, the government’s allocation of the fund wasn’t used up across the country. That’s ludicrous and unfair.
“Renfrewshire Council is already being squeezed by the funding settlement the Scottish Government gives us – and it’s simply not good enough that our vulnerable residents are also being short changed as a result of an unfair Welfare Fund allocation.
“Our Scottish Welfare Fund pot will run out before the new allocation arrives in April. We’re doing the best we can with what we’ve been given, but even with a focus on high priority applicants who need support the most – it’s clear that the amount we’ve been given by the Scottish Government is inadequate.
“Nicola Sturgeon has previously said she is committed to social justice. I would call on her to demonstrate this by giving us a sufficient Welfare Fund allocation so that our vulnerable residents can continue to get support when they need it most. I look forward to her response.”
Renfrewshire has just over 3% of Scotland’s population and yet receives 6% of the total Crisis Grant applications in Scotland.
Between April 1 and September 30 2014 the total amount paid out from Renfrewshire Council’s Welfare Fund pot was £646,625. The total Welfare Fund budget allocated to Renfrewshire for 14/15 is £1,148,857.
An update of the Scottish Welfare Fund spend to the end of September 2014 went to the Finance and Resources Policy Board on Wednesday 12 November.