Scottish Child Payment turns one
Eligible parents are being urged to apply for Scottish Child Payment on the first anniversary of its roll-out.
The payment of £10 per week, unique to Scotland, began in February 2021 as a direct measure to tackle poverty. It provides regular, additional financial support to parents and carers to help with the costs of caring for a child.
Since its launch, the families of around 106,000 children have benefited from £520 a year and the payment will double to £20 per week from April.
By the end of this year – subject to data being made available by the DWP - the payment will extend to include all eligible children under the age of 16.
In 2019-20 the Scottish Government invested nearly £2 billion in support for low income households, including over £672 million targeted specifically at children.
Shona Robison, cabinet secretary for social justice, housing and local government said: “The Scottish Government is determined to deliver on our ambition to eradicate child poverty in Scotland. So this year we will be even bolder with the ambitious and transformational measures we will take.
“From April, our Scottish Child Payment will double to £20 a week - four times the amount anti-poverty campaigners originally asked for. Together with our Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods payments, this will provide a package of financial support worth £8,400 by the time an eligible family’s first child turns 6.
“The extension to 16 year olds will continue this progress with the number of eligible children increasing to 430,000. In 2023-24 we estimate the Scottish Child Payment could lift 40,000 children out of poverty.”
She added: “This is part of the national mission we have set ourselves and society to tackle child poverty and our focus must be relentless and constant.
“Because many people learn about Scottish Child Payment through word of mouth, if you think a friend or family member might qualify, please encourage them to find out more and to help to ensure that everyone eligible gets the support they are entitled too.
“This way, we can all play a part in ensuring the continued success of Scottish Child Payment, advancing our fight to eradicate child poverty and building an equal and fairer country.”
The Scottish Government committed to introducing the Scottish Child Payment in June 2019 as part of the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.
John Dickie, director of the Child Poverty Action Group, commented: “The Scottish Child Payment is already providing vital financial support to families, helping parents give the best possible start in life to their children.
“Doubling its value from April comes at a critical time, helping families stay afloat as food and energy prices soar. The roll out to eligible children over five is now eagerly anticipated and really can’t come soon enough.”