Gordon Macdonald, SNP MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands, has called on constituents across the area to claim the benefits that they are entitled to, following the launch of a Scottish Government awareness campaign.
Throughout Scotland, it was estimated that there were over 500,000 cases of individuals or families not claiming the tax credits and other main income-related benefits they were entitled to in 2014-15 – and the campaign seeks to correct this by raising awareness through a week of radio and press adverts.
Commenting, Gordon Macdonald said, “It is vitally important that families and individuals get the support that they are entitled to and the support that they need – and I encourage everyone across Edinburgh Pentlands to check what support that can receive through the social security system.
“The initiative has the backing of a number of key social security organisations, including Citizens Advice Scotland, One Parent Families Scotland and Age Scotland – and CAS are working closely with the Scottish Government in providing a dedicated web page that supplies all information on benefits and tax credits.
“People throughout the constituency might be missing out on a whole range of benefits that they are entitled too – causing their existing income to become increasingly stretched and leaving many in financial difficulty. By raising awareness that there is a whole range of benefits that people can claim, we can help to alleviate the difficulties that many people face on a day to day basis.
“I encourage all local people to use the resources available and to check what benefits that they are entitled to – and to make use of the services available through the Scottish Government and third sector to ensure that they aren’t missing out on financial support.
“The Scottish Government is committed to putting dignity and respect at the heart of social security policy in Scotland, and this campaign is a step in the right direction towards doing that.”
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) provide GB or UK level estimates of take-up rates for pension credit, housing benefit, income-based JSA, income support and ESA, tax credits and child benefit.
For further information, visit: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/benefits/
One Parent Families Scotland provides specialist information for single parents. Visit www.opfs.org.uk or call the freephone Lone Parent Helpline – 0808 801 0323.
Age Scotland can help older people check whether they are missing out on payments - contact their helpline on 0800 12 44 222.