New £33 m fund to aid Scotland's most vulnerable families
The Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to provide additional help to the poorest Scottish families in her speech to the SNP party conference.
Sturgeon announced the creation of a new £33 million fund while delivering the Deputy Leader’s closing address at the Scottish Nationalist Party’s annual conference yesterday.
However not all of the £33 million is new money. The UK Government is set to hand over the control of £24 million of the current social fund to Holyrood next April, and the Scottish Government will top it up with £9 million additional funding. Sturgeon claimed the contribution by Holyrood would help an additional 100,000 people in Scotland.
The funding would provide “essential crisis support” to vulnerable families. "Our Scottish government will not desert any of Scotland's people in times of need,” the Deputy First Minister told the assembled delegates as she blamed the coalition government in Westminster for the weakened Scottish economy.
The SNP Deputy Leader claimed the Scottish Government led by Alex Salmond is doing everything within its power to boost Scotland’s economy but are being thwarted by the austerity regime imposed by Westminster. She argued that is why the Scottish electorate should vote for independence in the 2014 referendum.
She called on the Chancellor George Osborne to change his policies towards the economy and provide a “capital stimulus” to the economy. "I have a very direct message for the chancellor today, a message on behalf of every construction firm clinging on by their fingertips, on behalf of every unemployed person desperate for some light at the end of the tunnel,” Sturgeon said.
“If the chancellor cares about getting growth back in our economy, if he cares about getting people into work and giving our young people hope of a brighter future, then he must listen - not to us - but to the growing band of economists and business organisations who say it is time to take a different course”.
"We must build our way out of recession," she added as she announced £45 million investment to build 1,200 homes and protect 800 jobs in Scotland.