Progress in tackling child poverty

Annual report published.

The Scottish Government is estimated to have invested almost £1.4 billion to benefit children in low income households in the last financial year.

The investment is detailed in an annual progress report which highlights key actions to tackle child poverty including:

  • Awarding almost £430 million to families through the Scottish Child Payment, supporting more than 329,000 children as of 31 March 2024
  • Widening eligibility for Best Start Foods, the benefit which helps low-income families access nutritious food, so thousands more children and pregnant women can benefit
  • Supporting around 4,400 children through continued work to develop a system of school age childcare and continuing to provide 1140 hours of funded childcare for all eligible children
  • Providing free bus travel to over 2.3 million people, with 727,000 children and young people registered as of March 2024
  • Delivering 6,045 affordable homes across Scotland, with two thirds for social rent, between April and December 2023 – helping an estimated 2,015 households with children into affordable housing

Ms Somerville said:

“Eradicating child poverty is the First Minister’s top priority and the actions we are taking are making a difference. Modelling published in February estimates that our policies will keep 100,000 children out of relative poverty this year.

“Over the last year we have continued to provide immediate support to families through investment in the likes of our ‘game-changing’ Scottish Child Payment,

and by mitigating the Benefit Cap as fully as possible within the scope of devolved powers.

“We have set out, through our Building a New Scotland series, how we would deliver differently in an independent Scotland. Only with the full economic and fiscal powers of an independent nation can we use all of the levers other governments have to tackle inequalities, and we will continue to make this case. However, this will not stop us from taking all the action we can towards our goal now."


Best Start Bright Futures: Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan - Annual Report

Child poverty cumulative impact assessment: update - (

Following a further increase in the value from 1 April 2024, together the Scottish Government’s five family payments of Scottish Child Payment, Best Start Foods and the three Best Start Grant payments could now be worth over £10,000 by the time an eligible child turns six, and around £25,000 by the time they turn 16.


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