Comment: Protecting people in poverty during coronavirus crisis

Today the Scottish Government announced a welcome package of support to communities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Commenting, Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “The action Scotland takes to protect those in poverty during this coronavirus crisis must be a key test of the effectiveness of our response to this unprecedented situation.

“This pandemic presents an extraordinary threat to the one in five people in Scotland who were already trapped in poverty, as well as those who now face being dragged into poverty by it.

“People across Scotland are facing redundancy, a loss of income and increased caring responsibilities, with the latter often falling disproportionately on women. This comes at a time when household utility bills could rise through increased usage and amid ongoing day-to-day bills like rent.

“We therefore welcome prompt action from the Scottish Government on substantially increasing the Scottish Welfare Fund and it must now work closely with local authorities to ensure this source of crisis cash is available quickly to all those who need it.

“People in or at risk of poverty in Scotland need urgent support and that means ensuring the resources announced today are made available as swiftly as possible.”

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