The flagship family payment – Scottish Child Payment – has now doubled to £20 per week per child. 104,000 children are already benefiting from this increase.
The payment, which is unique to Scotland, was designed to tackle child poverty. It is one of five family benefits which 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.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We will back this with investment of around £671 million over the next two years.
“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.”
Parents and carers do not need to reapply and will see their payments increase automatically.
Social Security Scotland administers five benefits for families on tax credits and certain benefits. These include:
- Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment
- Early Learning Payment
- School Age Payment
- Best Start Foods
- Scottish Child Payment.
Parents and carers can find out more and apply at mygov.scot or by calling 0800 182 2222.
The Scottish Government is also giving families £150 million through Bridging Payments to families of 145,000 children in receipt of free school meals across 2021 and 2022.