Implementation and delivery plan
The Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 sets out child poverty reduction targets and the TCPDP commits to the SCP as one of the measures to reach those targets. The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 provides the overarching framework for the delivery of SCP, through Section 79 – the power to top up a reserved benefit. The detail regarding commencement and definitions, eligibility, application windows, verification, payment level etc. will be provided by Regulations, as secondary legislation.
The aim of the early launch of the under 6s payment is to reduce the depth of poverty and support a sustainable reduction in poverty. It will also contribute to the longer term poverty reduction targets set for the launch of the under 16s payment.
SCP will be delivered by Social Security Scotland, in collaboration with the wider Scottish Government and key stakeholders, through an application based process. We will open the SCP for applications in November 2020, with the first payments being made to eligible families from the end of February 2021. This capability to do this will be assessed based upon the capacity and resilience of Social Security Scotland as a result of COVID-19.
A communications strategy is being developed ahead of the launch of SCP. This will aim to ensure that families who are eligible, the third sector, local government, education sector and advice providers are aware of the benefit, know how to apply and understand the eligibility criteria. Communications will be tailored to reach hard to reach groups.