A support package worth £41 million has been promised to Scottish households struggling financially during the winter months.
The Winter Support Fund has been created by the Scottish government to provide some relief to families with low incomes and people potentially at risk of becoming homeless in the coming weeks.
Recent increases in the cost of living and specifically to energy prices are cited by the government as being among the key reasons why the fund has been established.
“We know that many families are struggling financially due to the increased costs they are facing right now,” explained Shona Robison, social justice secretary with the Scottish government.
“This package of measure aims to ease some of that strain by providing direct support to people,” she added.
Of the £41 million that’s been allocated to the Winter Support Fund, £10 million has been earmarked for helping people who are struggling to pay their energy bills and £25 million is set to be distributed to households in need via local authorities across Scotland.
The remaining £6 million that’s been allocated is to be given to third sector partners of the government who should be able to do more to help low income Scots during the winter months thanks to the extra cash they’ve been granted from the public purse.
Ms Robison has said the Scottish government is in the process of investing billions of pounds into providing help and support to individuals and families who need it most around the country.
However, the social justice secretary has noted that a huge number of Scots on low incomes have been badly impacted by the UK government’s recent decision to remove the £20 uplift to Universal Credit payments.
According to Ms Robison, the removal of that uplift “has taken an estimated £460 million from the pockets of the people in Scotland who need it most”.
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Unusually high rates of inflation are threatening to sweep many more Scots into problem debt situations and serious financial difficulties.
People with debt problems in Scotland are being urged not to struggle with their issues alone and to reach out for help and support if they need it.
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