The local MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie MSP, has welcomed a series of commitments made by the Scottish Government to strengthen the financial safety net for residents in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, as well as across Scotland.

The Scottish Government has published new improvements to the way that crisis support is offered and delivered across Scotland.

The Scottish Welfare Fund provides a vital safety net which has paid out more than £380 million in emergency funds to more than 500,000 household in the last 10 years.

Now, in a bid to improve this welfare provision, the Scottish Government has outlined 22 commitments to help address unmet needs, and to make decisions more consistent across Scotland.

Actions include a simplified application form, clearer guidance, and better promotion to those who may not currently be being reached, including older people.

Improved guidance on referrals to wider services such as debt and welfare advice will also aim to help people with their finances so they can avoid future crisis.  

Commenting on these improvements, Christina said:

“I welcome further commitment from the Scottish Government to improving essential emergency provisions to those that need it most.

“Recently, there has been severe financial hardships faced by some of my constituents, and indeed faced by many across Scotland.

“This has been, as well we all know, a result of the Tory-induced cost of living crisis, which the UK government has failed to tackle and failed to rectify.

“This is why these commitments set out by the Scottish Government are so important for people. If the government south of the border are going to continuously fail, and continue to impose economic hardships, be it through austerity or incompetence, on the people of Scotland, then the Scottish government must continue to mitigate these issues in the successful and impactful manners that we have come to expect.

“Of course, with the full powers of independence, a Scottish Government wouldn’t have to mitigate the negative factors caused by a government that we did not vote for – which is why I am more convinced of the need for independence than ever.

“In the meantime, this SNP-led Scottish Government will continue to provide the support required by so many of our constituents.”