Cost Crisis Programme for Government
Scottish Child Payment increased from 14 November.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will set out a raft of actions today (Tuesday 6 September) in a Programme for Government designed to help people through the cost emergency.
The package will include an increase in Scottish Child Payment to £25 per eligible child per week from 14 November, with the ground-breaking anti-poverty benefit also opening to applications for all eligible under-16s from that date.
The First Minister is determined to help households and businesses cope with a “humanitarian crisis that will cost lives.” She has also called on the UK Government to take urgent action as it holds most of the key policy levers and resources to fully address the crisis.
Speaking ahead of her statement to Parliament on the 2022-23 Programme for Government, the First Minister said:
“The Scottish Child Payment is unique to Scotland, the most ambitious child poverty reduction measure in the UK and an important action to mitigate the growing cost emergency. We doubled the payment to £20 per week per child in April and the further increase to £25 from November means a rise of 150% in less than eight months.
“Around 104,000 children currently in receipt of Scottish Child Payment will have it automatically increased to £25 per week. All new eligible under 16s will also benefit from the £25 rate, with all payments backdated to the date their application is received.
“Through this year’s Programme for Government we will take every action, within the financial means and legislative powers at our disposal, to help people through this humanitarian crisis that will cost lives.
“The most significant powers to tackle this crisis rest squarely with the UK Government and their inaction has compounded the difficulties everyone is facing.
“In the absence of a plan from the incoming Prime Minister we have a clear set of actions which the UK Government could take now, and should have taken already, to begin to address the crisis. These include an immediate cancellation of the October price cap rise and an uprating of benefits.
“The last few months have made it abundantly clear Scotland cannot rely on the UK Government to support people in Scotland through this crisis. It is vital they have a choice over their future.
“Make no mistake, we will continue to act where others have not to help people and businesses - and the UK Government needs to follow our example.”
Tuesday 6 September - 1420-1450 First Minister’s Statement: Programme for Government, followed by; 1450-1700 Scottish Government Debate: Programme for Government.
Families have benefited from a total of £84 million in Scottish Child Payments since its introduction 18 months ago, according to figures published last week.
From 14 November, all children currently in receipt of Scottish Child Payment will have it automatically increased to £25 per week. Applications for Scottish Child Payment will also be open to all eligible under-16s from that date – with all payments backdated to the date of application. Eligible families and carers can find out more and apply at mygov.scot/beststart or by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.
Increasing the Scottish Child Payment to £25 per week per eligible child and extending it to include under 16s will mean around 400,000 children are eligible and based on modelling undertaken in March 2022 it is estimated to lift 50,000 children out of poverty and reduce relative child poverty by five percentage points in 2023-24. However, given the current economic situation we are aware this may be subject to change.
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