- More than £14 million awarded to low income households. Artwork Jane Heaney
By Lucy Ashton
COVID Winter Hardship Payments have been made to families in West Dunbartonshire.
The payments are available to families with children receiving Free School Meals on the basis of low income, with £14.41 million given to households as part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Plan for Social Protection.
A one-off payment of £100 was made, by local authorities, for each eligible child in receipt of Free School Meals between 30 November and the start of the winter holidays.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell, right, said: “We know that many families are struggling financially due to the pandemic, whether through lost earnings, increased food costs or simply needing to run their heating more. This additional payment will hopefully have helped ease the strain they are facing.
“We have now provided over £50 million in additional funding to local authorities to continue the provision of Free School Meals during school closures, periods of online learning and holidays from the summer, and we are committed to do so through the forthcoming Easter holidays.
“The provision of Free School Meals outside of term time and the £100 payment are just two of the ways we’re working to support people and communities. We have invested over £500 million to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic, which includes a £22 million increase to our Scottish Welfare Fund and considerable investment in support provided by community and third sector organisations.
“With our Scottish Child Payment also due to start next week, we are showing our commitment to tackling poverty and inequality through this pandemic and beyond.”