HOUSEHOLDS TO BE SUPPORTED BY £23 BILLION
As communities across West Lothian recover from the pandemic and face a Tory made cost of living crisis, yesterday the Scottish Government’s spending review outlined record social security spending to help households facing increasing pressures. The Scottish Government allocated around £23 billion for social security over the course of the parliament.
The focus on supporting households under increasing pressure reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to create a fairer Scotland by tackling child poverty, reducing inequalities and supporting financial wellbeing in West Lothian, and builds on current efforts to help families and mitigate Westminster welfare cuts.
The Resource Spending Review outlined over £23 billion worth of payments, with a total of almost £1.8 billion for the ‘game changing’ Scottish Child Payment alone. By 2026-27 the budget for Social Security Assistance will have increased by £6.3 billion.
This is despite the Scottish Budget for this year being cut in real terms by 5.2 per cent by the Tory UK government and the Scottish government already spending almost £770 million on cost of living support, including several measures for families in West Lothian not available elsewhere in the UK, such as:
Additionally, the Scottish Government is making investment in areas like energy efficiency to bring down costs and the spending review set out how SNP will build on these over the coming years.
Commenting Almond Valley MSP Angela Constance said:
“I am very glad to see this record investment in social security by the Scottish Government, putting such a strong focus on tackling child poverty and helping households in West Lothian who are facing severe pressures right now which seems likely to only increase for the next while.
“Many families across this local authority area are already benefitting from support like the Scottish Child payment, a £150 council tax reduction, the Scottish Welfare Fund and Discretionary Housing Payments which mitigate Westminster’s cruel bedroom tax.
“These are policies that built on the Scottish Government’s current efforts. They will make a real difference to people’s lives and build on long standing measures that we benefit from every day – such as free prescriptions, free university tuition, free personal care, and 1,140 hours of free early learning and childcare which will continue to be maintained.
“When times are tough, Governments have to make tough decisions and I’m grateful the Scottish Government continue to focus on what matters most to people but it is acting with one hand tied behind its back as Westminster continues to inflict its cruel austerity agenda at a time when people need support the most.
“Once again, it is clear that only with the full powers of independence that we can stop spending a fixed budget on protecting households against Tory cuts and start to properly build a fairer, more equal Scotland.”
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