Councillor describes rising emergency welfare payouts ‘absolutely insane’

Barry Jarvis – ‘insane’

A Labour councillor is speaking of the ‘insanity’ being faced in Moray and throughout the country where parents are facing serious problems in feeding their children.

Elgin City North councillor Barry Jarvis was speaking out after hearing that Moray Council had paid out more than a quarter of a million pounds in the last nine months to help people with heating and food bills.

The cash was provided by the Scottish Welfare Fund, introduced last April as a replacement for the Department of Work and Pensions social fund. Changes to the welfare system imposed by the UK Government has seen almost 1300 households in Moray having to seek crisis support grants.

That in turn is reflected by a ten-fold increase in the number of people seeking the help of the Moray Foodbank charity, who last week revealed 310 people were being provided with food boxes compared to just 29 a year ago.

Councillor Jarvis said: “It is absolutely insane in a country like ours that has such problems with obesity that some folk are not getting enough to eat.

“The one slight piece of good news is that we seem to be coping with things better in Moray than in many other parts of the country.”

Newly released figures show that in Moray 40% of applications for community care grants were processed on the day they were made, with almost three-quarters dealt with within 14 days.

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