Community / Details of £1.4m island cost of living scheme expected soon

Cabinet secretary for rural affairs and the islands Mairi Gougeon will keep her job after the latest cabinet reshuffle Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

MORE details around a £1.4 million “cost crisis emergency fund” for Scottish islanders should emerge soon.

Rural affairs and islands secretary Mairi Gougeon also said councils will be given as much flexibility on the scheme as possible.

Local authorities will also be supported in potentially complementing existing or new measures where appropriate.

The £1.4 million scheme was revealed by the Scottish Government recently as it announced spending cuts to fund the response to the cost of living crisis.

The focus is to support island households struggling with higher energy costs.

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart wrote to the Scottish Government to ask more for clarity on the scheme.

Gougeon said in response that local authorities will be able to set the eligibility criteria.

The allocation mechanism is due to be signed off by COSLA leaders this coming Friday (25 November).

“As soon as possible after that date we will be in a position to share further information,” Gougeon said.


“However, we can share that we will allow as much flexibility to local authorities as possible and support them to complement existing or new measures where appropriate.”

She added that the fund was “developed acknowledging islands are uniquely exposed to the current cost crisis”.

Last month Shetland Islands Council set up a £500,000 fund, using money from Crown Estate Scotland revenues, for supporting people during the cost of living crisis.

A hub was later set up in Lerwick to offer people the chance to take clothing and other items such as hot water bottles, blankets and duvets.

Shetland Islands Council has a webpage listing the help available for those worried about the cost of living.

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