SCOTTISH Borders Council has endorsed the immediate spending of more than £1.7m to help the region’s lowest income families through the current cost of living crisis.
The move will see those families in the most urgent need receive a one-off £150 payment before the end of April to help with the rising cost of fuel, food and transport.
Approximately 7,700 households currently in receipt of a council tax reduction, based on low income, are to benefit from the payments.
Additionally, low income families are to receive a payment of £100, to be paid in time for the Easter holidays, for each child currently receiving school meals, in recognition of the impact rising costs have during school holidays.
The support comes after the Scottish Government announced funding of £80m to local authorities across the country to meet the post-COVID-19 economic challenges, with Scottish Borders Council’s allocation being £1.724m.
At Thursday’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council the measures were rubber-stamped.
Councillor Robin Tatler said: “This is funding that has come in at a very late hour and it is really important we agree this quickly.
“Tomorrow we will see a change in the energy price cap and that is going to have yet another huge impact on the cost of living crisis that we are facing.
“For many of our families facing poverty this is going to be another hammer blow, so it’s really important we get this funding out to those on the lowest incomes.”
The report also backs a £30,000 spend for the promotion of the Scotland Loves Local card scheme within the Borders.
The national scheme was launched in July 2021 to provide opportunities for people to help support businesses by purchasing local produce and keeping more spend within the local authority area.
Approximately 30 Borders businesses have so far taken up the scheme.