Scottish Child Payment doubles to £20 per week
The flagship family payment – Scottish Child Payment – has now doubled to £20 per week per child, with 104,000 children already benefiting from this increase.
The payment, which is unique to Scotland, was designed to tackle child poverty head on. It is one of five family benefits that provides financial support to low-income families with children aged under 6.
The benefit will be extended at the end of the year to all eligible children under the age of 16 - and at that point also increase further from £20 to £25.
Once extended, it is expected over 400,000 children could be eligible. The newly doubled Scottish Child Payment, together with the three Best Start Grant payments and Best Start Foods, will provide families with more than £10,000 by the time their first child turns 6 and £9,700 for subsequent children. This compares to less than £1,800 for an eligible family’s first child in England and Wales, and less than £1,300 for subsequent children.
Visiting Glasgow based family charity Govan Help, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We are using our social security powers to take immediate steps to put cash in the pockets of families by doubling the Scottish Child Payment to £20 per week per child – support not replicated anywhere else in the UK.
“This is a key part of our national mission to tackle child poverty. We will further increase this payment to £25 by the end of 2022 – five times the amount campaigners originally asked. This will gives families additional financial support of £1,300 for each eligible child every year. We will back this with investment of around £671 million over the next two years – just part of our package of support for families.
“Our Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan will also build on our investment in employment support for parents, through new skills and training opportunities and key worker support to help reduce household costs and drive longer term change.
“We are determined to give children the best start and a bright future by putting more money into the pockets of those who need it most. Increasing the Scottish Child Payment will make a real difference to families and help to build a more equal and fairer Scotland for everyone.”
Viv Sawers, chief officer at Govan Help, added: “This is a fantastic measure from Scottish Government in tackling Child Poverty in Scotland. The roll out and the uplift in Scottish Child Payment will have an incredible impact on the families across Scotland who need it most and we are delighted to see money going directly to families who we know are struggling to meet their basic cost of living.
“Govan has higher than average rates of Child Poverty so this will have a hugely positive impact on the quality of life for families in this local community. We see families struggling daily, they have told us what a difference this has made already with the cost of living increases, we look forward to supporting more families to access this as it rolls out to children up to age 16 later this year. We know parenting is a really hard job, without financial pressures, this funding will go a long way to removing stresses that can impact on healthy family functioning and wellbeing.”