Information

Cost of living support

Almost £3 billion to help households with rising prices.

Family benefits, free school meals and concessionary travel are part of support helping households to mitigate the increased cost of living.

Funding for 2022-23 includes:

  • £294.4 million for Scottish Child Payment and other family benefits, including Best Start Grants, Best Start Foods and Bridging Payments
  • £64 million for universal provision of free school meals during term time for children in p4 and p5 and alternative holiday provision for eligible children
  • £306 million for concessionary travel
  • £437 million to help with household bills via Council Tax Reduction and Water Charge Reduction

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said:

“Within our limited budget, we have allocated almost £3 billion in this financial year to help families and households face the increased cost of living. This includes support for energy bills, childcare, health and travel, as well as social security payments not available anywhere else in the UK.

“We are increasing our Scottish Child Payment to £25 per child per week when we extend it to under 16s by the end of 2022. This will mean a 150% increase in less than a year and around 400,000 children eligible for this vital anti-poverty benefit.

“Westminster holds most of the powers needed to tackle the cost of living crisis as well as borrowing and resourcing powers we do not currently have. This includes energy, the minimum wage, National Insurance and 85% of social security spending.

“The UK Government’s decade of austerity and welfare reforms have placed people in a particularly precarious position. That is why we have continually urged them to use all the powers and fiscal headroom at their disposal to put together a comprehensive action plan to address the long term impacts of rising prices and provide immediate support to struggling households.

“In the meantime we will continue to use our limited budget and constrained powers to work for people and help cushion the impact of UK Government policies.”

Background

Breakdown of indicative allocations made as part of the 2022-23 Scottish Budget to support cost of living, final budgets are subject to change during the financial year:

Policy

Current 2022-23 resource (£m)

Access to Free Period Products

6.6

Baby Box

9.0

Best Start Foods

12.0

Best Start Grants

20.5

Bridging Payments

57.6

Carer's Allowance Supplement

43.9

Child Winter Heating Assistance

4.2

Concessionary travel

306.0

Cost-of-living payment or council tax credit (£150)

280.0

Council Tax Reduction

351.0

Discretionary Housing Payments

82.7

Free NHS-funded eye examinations

84.4

Free Prescriptions

57.0

Free dental check-ups

35.0

Free school meals (universal provision to P4 and P5)

42.2

Free school meals - holiday support for eligible families

21.8

Fuel Insecurity Fund

10.0

Funded Early Learning and Childcare

1,006.0

Funeral Support Payment

12.2

Heat, Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty measures

161.0

Job Start Payment

1.1

School Clothing Grant

11.8

Low Income Winter Heating Assistance

20.4

Scottish Child Payment

204.3

Scottish Welfare Fund (including administration)

41.0

Water Charge Reduction Scheme

86.0

Young Carer Grant

1.0

Total

2,968.6

Note: Social Security benefits expenditure forecasts reflect the Scottish Fiscal Commission’s May 2022 publication, with the exception of Job Start Payment and Young Carer Grant which are forecast by the Scottish Government.

 

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