SUPPORT FOR ARMED FORCES FAMILIES DURING PANDEMIC

Jackie Baillie MSP with Army and Navy personnel.

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, has urged Armed Forces families to make use of the help available to them during the current pandemic.

The Royal Caledonian Education Trust (RCET), is a Scotland-wide charity supporting families who have members in the Armed Forces. The RCET has expanded its Crisis Intervention Fund in order to make sure that those children, young people, and their families from the Armed Forces community, who are in the greatest need are supported during this difficult, financially uncertain time.

This fund is open to any family that has been made vulnerable, or more vulnerable, as a result of COVID-19. The RCET is providing a targeted approach for those in need of support to buy food, emergency utility top-ups, and children’s clothing.

Jackie Baillie MSP said:  “The help that the RCET offer to Armed Forces families across Scotland year after year is highly commendable. The support that they are putting in place now has gone even further at this time of crisis.

“Almost every family in the UK will be experiencing a greater worry at the moment about how to keep themselves safe and how to make ends meet. Those families who have one or more members in the Armed Forces will have an added level of stress. It is fantastic that the RCET is making sure that no Armed Forces Family is left behind and forgotten about during this pandemic.

“I urge any Armed Forces family who thinks they might benefit from this help to reach out to the RCET and get the support they deserve.”

2 comments

  1. Making ends meet is indeed a real crisis.

    Unlike the lucky one who work for the council and are retained on full pay, those in the private sector, and especially those who were self employed, are not so lucky.

    With the furlough scheme, or those eligible for it, they are being by and large supported by the government 80% funded furlough scheme which provides up to £2,500 per month ( or £30,000 per annum) But for people on salaries above £30,000 employers are requiring them to take a cut. Thus for example a worker on £50,000 would lose around £20,000 plus employers pension contribution.

    For folks with mortgages and loans commensurate with their salary level one can see how it will be difficult for the higher paid employees and not just the average and lower average waged workers. Most certainly the time to be employed by the council and especially for those on higher bands where the Council has the funds to pay whilst other sectors suffer. And generously, the Council have offered to allow people to register to defer for three months the payment of council tax. Quite how generous this will remain to be seen is a moot point in the teeth of savagely reduced incomes.

    But the suffering is nothing by comparison to the self employed many, if not most who now four weeks into stoppage will have received nothing. And they too will have the ongoing liability for tax, if and when the country ever gets back to normality.

    With Dominic Raab announcing that the lock down is set to continue for another three weeks one can understand the real fear that is running up the spine of millions. The temporary deferment of mortgages, car loans, and council tax, aside of everything having to live on reduced or no income will be a real worry.

    Time we all worked for the government. Well we do, but some as in Animal Farm are more equal than others. And thanks to Jackie Baillie for at least being one of the very few politicians who are asking question whilst the others remain silent.

    Meanwhile I read that MPs are being given a £10,000 grant to help them work at home. Lovely Jubbly as Del Boy would have said.

  2. And whilst I am thinking about making ends meet here is a question for the local politicians.

    Many of the new schools built over recent years were built under PFI type schemes where the Council pay the school concessionaire company for the provision of the school. Now with schools being closed due to a major national emergency, indeed what many would describe as a Force Majeure, maybe one of the elected representatives could inform us who carries the risk for such a circumstance. Council officials must know, or st least have a view.

    Put very simply, the majority of cost in servicing the PFI type contracts is finance, and therefore, the question is, and it is a legal and contractual question, but are the Council obligated to make payment to these PFI companies in the circumstances we are now in.

    With multi millions being paid in finance it would be helpful to know if at these hard pressed times the council have managed to secure savings, or have even looked. It a reasonable question. Who bears the risk, them or us, and if it’s us, do we just take the hit whilst the concessionaire collects. And if the council can’t pay, let them try to take the schools back.

    But PFI is not the only debt structures that the council have. Is there anyone looking at renegotiating and or restructuring these debts as the become unaffordable.

    So big picture is anyone looking at a council survival plan – and is there any politician willing to give an answer?

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