New Child poverty benefit pays out £17.6 million to families in need
More than 108,000 children have benefited from the Scottish Government’s new Scottish Child Payment according to the latest official statistics. The figures highlight how many families and children received the payment from introduction in February to 30 June 2021.
The £10 per week benefit, unique to Scotland, has the potential to help around 133,000 children (averaged over this financial year) according to Scottish Fiscal Commission forecasts published last week.
The Scottish Child Payment supports low-income families with children aged under six. It provides regular, additional financial support for families in receipt of qualifying benefits to assist with the costs of caring for a child. The payment will be made available to children aged 6-15 by the end of 2022.
Parents and carers are able to apply for all eligible children in their household in a single application and can also apply for other benefits for children under six – Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods at the same time.
Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, Shona Robison said:
“Tackling child poverty is a national mission for this government and I am proud that we are already supporting over one hundred thousand children through this brand new benefit. The Scottish Child Payment is unparalleled across the UK and unique in being a benefit to tackle child poverty head on.
“Ahead of the rollout to under 16s by the end of 2022, we have introduced bridging payments worth the same as Scottish Child Payment. This £520 a year will be paid in 2021 and 2022 to provide immediate support to around 145,000 children and young people of school age.
“We are making significant investment to tackle child poverty. Taken together, our investment in bridging payments and the Scottish Child Payment will total £145 million this year, allowing us to reach as many low income families as possible right now.
“The Scottish Child Payment together with the three Best Start Grant payments and Best Start Foods could give families on low incomes up to £5,200 by the time their first child turns six.
“We have also committed to significantly increasing the level of Scottish Child Payment, following the planned rollout to 6 to 15 year olds, in order to maximise the impact on child poverty, with the full £20 payment being achieved within the lifetime of the Parliament.
“This Government will continue to use the limited powers we have to tackle poverty and inequality and create a fairer Scotland.”