Families boosted by £829m in social security payments

Families boosted by £829m in social security payments

Social justice secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville

The families of more than 329,000 children under 16 are benefitting from Scottish Child Payment, the latest statistics show.

The weekly payment of £26.70, which is unique to Scotland, is helping families with the cost of living crisis, with over £677 million paid since the payment launched.

Scottish Child Payment is part of a wider package of payments – including the three Best Start Grants and Best Start Foods – which together have provided over £829m in vital financial support at key stages of a child’s life. There is no cap on the number of children in one family who can receive these payments.

In a survey released yesterday, the majority of families said that the payments helped their child to take part in social or educational opportunities and also helped them buy milk and healthy food for their children.

Survey responses also suggest that families are finding it straightforward to apply with more than 90% of people noting the application was clear and did not take too long to complete.

Social justice secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “As the First Minister has set out, eradicating child poverty is the number one priority for the Scottish Government.

“Scottish Child Payment plays a key part in that mission. Together with our Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods payments, this package of financial support, which is worth almost £25,000 per child by the time their child turns 16, is helping to make sure all children in Scotland get the best start in life.

“We have provided over £829m to help people raise their families, putting money into the pockets of people who need it most.

“This crucial cash is available as soon expectant parents know they are pregnant all the way through to their child starting nursery, then going to primary and secondary school and helps them cover costs of caring for their children.

“We know from our recent research that families say the application process is clear and doesn’t take too long to apply. So I would urge families to apply for our package of five family payments and get the money they are entitled to.”

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