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Rennie raises concerns as 76% of applicants excluded from isolation support

November 10, 2020 6:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today warned that unless the Scottish Government makes it easier for those self-isolating to access financial support there is a risk that people will fail to isolate.

Concerns have been raised with local authority body COSLA after Perth and Kinross Council revealed that three quarters of those who have applied for the apply for Self-Isolation Support Grants were refused.

Commenting on the revelations, Willie Rennie said:

"Because of the way that the universal credit system interacts with the support grants system, three quarters of applicants are being knocked back.

"Local authorities are trying their best to support people but it is the criteria laid down by the government which are proving problematic.

"The Scottish Government need to adjust the grant criteria and make it easier for those self-isolating to access financial support. If people are forced to choose between isolating themselves and putting food on the table, there is a chance that some will choose to put their fellow citizens at risk."

Scottish Liberal Democrat communities and local government spokesperson and leader of the Perth and Kinross council group Peter Barrett said:

"These problems are occurring in Perth and Kinross and I know from colleagues across Scotland they are occurring in other authorities too.

"Local authorities are well placed to pick up on problems but then we need central government to listen, relax the criteria and change course so that vulnerable people get the support they need to self-isolate.

"Every level of government needs to be working in partnership for us to stamp out the virus."