Christina McKelvie MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse has welcomed investment of up to £300,000 to help support money and welfare advice services in some of Scotland’s most remote locations.

From the autumn, GP practices in 20 rural and 10 island communities will be able to refer patients directly to an in-house welfare rights officer for advice on increasing income, social security eligibility, debt resolution, housing and employability issues.

This work builds on that already being undertaken at nearly 150 GP practices in the most deprived areas of the country as part of the Welfare Advice and Health Partnerships programme.

£3 million was dedicated from September 2021 for money advice services in 150 GP services in some of the most deprived communities across Scotland.

Commenting Christina said:

“The impact both the cost of living crisis and recovery from the pandemic has had  on everyone’s mental and physical health is on everyone’s mind right now. This is particularly those who are struggling the most to make ends meet.

“Dedicated money and welfare advice in the same location where people are already receiving mental and physical health support provides people with convenient access to the help they need, whilst also reaching those who do not engage with traditional advice services.

“This funding will ensure people in rural and island communities have access to the same advice and support, given the particular challenges they also face from the rising cost of living, including fuel and food inflation.

“This funding shows that the Scottish Government is serious about its commitment to mitigating the impact of increased costs, and this action is in addition to the almost £3 billion already allocated this year by Ministers to help households cope with the pressures so many are facing.”