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Motion ref. S5M-24173

Reported Problems of the Mobile and Home-Based Close Contact Service Providers Fund

Submitted by: Alex Rowley, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour.
Date lodged: Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Supported by: Jackie Baillie, Rhoda Grant, Iain Gray, Mark McDonald, Colin Smyth, David Stewart

That the Parliament notes the reported problems with the newly launched mobile and home-based Close Contact Service Providers Fund; recognises that concerns have reportedly been raised regarding the way in which the fund is being administered; understands that the Scottish Government will administer both the mobile and home-based Close Contact Service Providers Fund and the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund using the same application form; understands that this has caused problems due to the significant number of applicants trying to access the funds when they were launched; expresses concern regarding reports that applicants have been receiving automated emails informing them that their application has been rejected because the system could not authenticate their online presence; notes concerns raised that there is no recourse to appeal if an application is unsuccessful; acknowledges reports that the application form is difficult to review prior to submission as a result of having to re-input information due to the system not saving data; notes the reported lack of clarity regarding whether the funds are being run by a partnership service, and if so, by which partnership service, and understands that, should these issues be raised with the Scottish Government, it may take some time for a response to be issued, by which time applicants may have missed mortgage payments, rent, utilities bills or vital products such as clothing and food at a time when the funds are meant to be helping those in need.