MORE than £1million in benefits was paid out to East Renfrewshire residents by the Scottish Government last year, a new report has revealed.

The huge payout for 2020/21, amounting to almost £1.2m, was made through 10 different Scottish social security benefits, with vital support given to pay for everything from energy bills to the costs of a funeral.

A report issued by Social Security Scotland also shows that 92% of people said their overall experience of claiming these benefits was ‘very good’ or ‘good.’

Ben Macpherson, Minister for Social Security, told the Barrhead News: “The investment that the Scottish Government provides through Scottish benefits and the work of Social Security Scotland is important because it tackles poverty and promotes equality.

“These payments go directly to people to help at key times in their lives – like when they’re having a new baby or starting a new job – and they also help to support carers.

“We are now delivering 11 benefits, seven of which are brand new, and the more complex devolved disability and carer benefits have started to be rolled out.

“What’s also positive in this annual report is that, as well as getting people the money they are entitled to, it’s clear that, overwhelmingly, people are having a very positive experience when they are interacting with this new public service.

“People can be assured that Social Security Scotland will be there when they need it and is a service they can rely on and be proud of.”

David Wallace, chief executive of Social Security Scotland, praised staff for helping to make sure East Renfrewshire residents could access lifeline benefits, despite challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “We introduced three brand new benefits – Job Start Payment, Child Winter Heating Assistance and Scottish Child Payment – all while the majority of our staff worked remotely.

“As we grow and become responsible for delivering more benefits, we will continue to put our clients at the heart of our work and ensure that people are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.”