Plans for the creation of new benefit outlined.
The new £10 weekly Scottish Child Payment has taken its first step to being introduced, with draft regulations being sent to the Scottish Commission on Social Security for scrutiny.
Once fully rolled out, the benefit could help up to 410,000 eligible under 16s and lift 30,000 children out of poverty.
The new benefit will:
- have a simplified application process which links with Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods so new applicants only need to provide information once
- be paid every four weeks as a lump sum to support parents with the cost of bringing up children, including clothing or school activities
- increase annually in line with inflation
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“The Scottish Child Payment has rightly been described as game-changing in terms of the potential to reduce child poverty.
“We have worked closely with stakeholders on the development of the payment so it can create the greatest impact for children and families, and last month we announced that the first payments for eligible children under the age of six will reach families by Christmas next year – five months earlier than previously announced.
“These plans also protect the other social security benefits we are implementing, which more than half a million people in Scotland rely on.
“Along with the Scottish Government legislation we need in place, we are dependent upon the UK Government’s co-operation bringing forward relevant UK legislation.
“It is critical Brexit doesn’t delay the UK legislation required and the vital help the benefit will provide struggling families."
A position paper provides more detail of the policy and delivery set out in the regulations and was informed by impact assessment work undertaken over the summer.
Low income families will be able to apply for a new £10 a week payment for every child aged 0-6 for applications in autumn 2020, with the first payments reaching families by Christmas. It will be rolled out in full to eligible families by the end of 2022.
An order will be required from the Department of Work and Pensions to amend existing UK benefit regulations so we can introduce the Scottish Child Payment. This will see the Scottish Child Payment disregarded as income for the purposes of means-tested benefits.
At the same time, we will also require an order with HM Revenue and Customs to amend UK legislation to facilitate the sharing of data between UK Ministers and Scottish Ministers. This will ensure we are able to access the full data we need in order to verify applications.