By Lucy Ashton

Families are stuck in “permanent crisis” due to rising cost of living, Scottish Labour has warned.

New analysis of Scottish Welfare Fund statistics has revealed soaring numbers of Crisis Grants being awarded to fund essentials such as heating, clothes and food.

Crisis Grants are small one-off payments administered by Local Authorities for those facing emergency costs.

However, more and more people are reaching crisis point attempting to pay for basics.

Between 2019 and 2022 the number crisis grants awarded to pay for heating rose by 8 per cent, while the number for food soared by 41 per cent and the number for clothes or shoes soared by a staggering 79 per cent.

Overall the number of applications to the Scottish Welfare Fund reached its highest point on record in 2022.

Commenting, Scottish Labour Social Security spokesperson Paul O’Kane, left,  said “More and more people are stuck in permanent crisis, relying on emergency funding to afford the basics.

“This is both a horrifying reflection of the scale of this cost of living crisis and a damning indictment of our two governments’ responses.

“People cannot just rely on sticking plaster solutions – both of our governments need to use the powers they have to tackle poverty at its root.

“Labour is ready to deliver the change Scotland needs, starting by booting out this disastrous Tory government and delivering a real windfall tax on the obscene profits being made by oil and gas giants.”

Number of applications Quantities of items awarded
Applications to the SWF Applications for Crisis Grants Food Essential Heating Costs Clothing or shoes
2019 288,150 211,590 118,800 90,435 535
2020 347,535 267,040 150,370 95,690 505
2021 352,055 260,410 161,360 91,185 415
2022 380,935 289,445 167,005 97,650 960
Change 2019-2022 32% 37% 41% 8% 79%


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