MSP Gil Paterson has praised the Independent Resource Centre in Clydebank for helping people save £3.6 million in benefits and writing off nearly half a million pounds in debt.
It follows the publication of the IRC’s latest annual report, the Annual Statistical Report 2015-2016, which shows staff and volunteers helped 2,558 clients struggling with debt and benefit problems.
A total of £3,691,786 was saved in benefits by ensuring claimants got what they are entitled to.
Most of those seeking welfare advice were earning between zero and £15,000 a year, over 60 and there were more women than men. Most were unable to work.
Debt handled totalled more than £1.8 million and debt workers at the centre wrote off and gained £435,729 for clients.
Mr Paterson, SNP MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, has lodged a motion with the Scottish Parliament, commending the work of the IRC.
He said: “The work that the Independent Resource Centre does in Clydebank helps thousands of people who are enduring financial hardship.
“It is truly shocking to drill down into the statistics and see how the people needing the most help are older, unable to work and often women.
“Very often, those who rely on services like those of the IRC are suffering at the hands of social security system that is being hacked away at by the UK Tory government since it took power in Westminster.
“The Independent Resource Centre volunteers and staff must be thanked for the bulwark they provide against members of the public descending into abject poverty and financial damnation.”
Motion Number: S5M-05465
Lodged By: Gil Paterson
Date Lodged: 04/05/2017
Title: Independent Resource Centre Saves Clydebank Public Millions
That the Parliament recognises the work of the Independent Resource Centre in Clydebank, which saved clients in financial hardship £3.7 million in benefit payments and wrote off £436,000 in debt between April 2015 and March 2016, according to statistics contained in the centre's latest annual statistical report; understands that the centre is a registered charitable organisation that has worked in the area for more than 26 years, and notes that the centre provides free, direct and practical assistance, represents people regarding debt matters, gives welfare and money advice and is at the forefront of campaigning for policy changes.