Using increased demand for school uniform grants to get started, Reporting Scotland today gave us one their extended poverty porn mini-documentaries. Spending the opening minutes in a free breakfast club, they didn’t tell us why it is free. See this:
More children and young people will benefit from a nutritious meal and a place to play this summer holiday. Charities and councils will increase support for children from low income families during the school holidays, backed by £350,000 from the Scottish Government.
Mostly we heard about voluntary groups and councils. We did hear the minister announce the increased school clothing grant but, by then, the extended focus on just two individual mothers and their worries had set and distorted the scene.
Most important for the piece to be comprehensive, balanced and fair, would have been mention of these major initiatives, unique to Scotland and designed to moderate the effects of Westminster austerity:
People in crisis made more than 165,000 successful applications to the Scottish Welfare Fund in the last financial year, according to new statistics. The Fund paid out £35 million, including £10.4 million in Crisis Grants to people in financial emergency, such as those struggling on low incomes or benefits – a 14% increase on 2017-18. The money helped people with essentials such as food, heating costs and household items. A further £24.8 million in Community Care Grants helped those facing extreme financial pressures with one-off costs for purchases including beds, washing machines and cookers. The Scottish Welfare Fund is part of an annual package of over £125 million to mitigate against the impact of UK Government welfare cuts. Since its launch in April 2013, the Fund has paid out more than £200 million to support over 336,000 households, with a third of recipients being families with children.
Finally, we heard nothing of those Westminster austerity policies which have created these problems in the first place and which the SNP Government fights to compensate.