Following this week’s debate on Social Security in an Independent Scotland, the MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has welcomed new social security figures showing how the Scottish Government is taking action on tackling poverty and inequality in the Western Isles and across Scotland.

Using the limited mechanisms of devolution at their disposal, the Scottish Government has built a social security system with compassion, dignity, fairness and respect at its very core. As a result, the number of children in Scotland living in poverty is estimated to have been reduced by 90,000 since last year.

Alasdair Allan commented:

“The Scottish Government is investing significantly in robust support for Western Isles households, helping irradicate poverty and inequality across Scotland while working to mitigate against Westminster’s harmful policies.

“Western Isles households have received over £1 million in Child Disability Payments to help support 165 children since the benefit’s introduction in 2021; a further £2.9 million in Adult Disability Payments has been received by islanders since 2022, while the Young Carer Grant has delivered £10,357 for young people with caring responsibilities in the Western Isles.

“Fuel poverty continues to affect the Western Isles more than anywhere else in the country, due in part to outdated transmission charges and a complete lack of action on the UK Government’s part to make the country’s energy system fair and fit for the 21st century. Meanwhile, the Scottish Government supported 1,830 households across the Western Isles to help stay warm this winter with £91,500 in Winter Heating Payments delivered, stopping the most vulnerable in our constituency having to choose between heating and eating. 

“The Scottish Government is having to use its limited powers and budget in order to mitigate over a decade of Tory-led austerity and economic mismanagement from Westminster. If Scotland had full control over its welfare policies, as is the norm in independent countries, we could go much further to provide a fully effective and supportive social security system for Scotland.”

The full breakdown of the Social Security Scotland statistics can be found here.

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