Child poverty benefit helping 104,000 children
A total of £84 million has been paid to families since it was introduced less than 18 months ago.
The payment of £20 per week, unique to Scotland in the UK, began in February 2021 as a direct measure to tackle child poverty. It provides regular, additional financial support to parents and carers to help with the costs of caring for a child.
As of 30 June 2022, it is estimated that 104,000 children were actively in receipt of Scottish Child Payment and 1.4 million payments have now been made.
By the end of this year the payment will increase to £25 per week and extend to include all eligible children under the age of 16 when it is expected that over 400,000 children will potentially be eligible.
Responding to the latest official statistics on Scottish Child Payment published today Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“We are taking a number of urgent actions to address the current cost crisis. This includes efforts to maximise financial support to those most in need so that they get all the money they are entitled to. The ongoing work to extend eligibility for and increase the value of the Scottish Child Payment is a vital part of these efforts.
“We created our game changing Scottish Child Payment to provide direct financial support to tackle child poverty. Every penny of support is absolutely vital at the moment, which is why we are using our devolved powers and resources to make a difference for as many households as we can.
“We doubled the payment to £20 in April and will increase it to £25 when we extend it to under 16s by the end of the year – a 150% rise in this important benefit which is one of five family benefits we are now delivering.
“The Scottish Government want to support families during these difficult times.”
- Scottish Child Payment is part of a wider package of five family payments including: Best Start Grant Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment, Best Start Grant School Age Payment and Best Start Foods
- The Scottish Child Payment, together with the three Best Start Grant payments and Best Start Foods, provides families with more than £10,000 by the time their first child turns 6 and £9,700 for subsequent children
- Plans have also been announced to automatically pay the Best Start Grant Early Learning and School Age Payments to parents and carers who already receive Scottish Child Payment when their children become eligible. The change will be introduced later this year when Scottish Child Payment is extended to under-16s and increased to £25 per child, per week
- Ahead of extending the Scottish Child Payment to under 16s, the Scottish Government introduced bridging payments worth £520 a year which are being paid in 2021 and 2022 to provide immediate support to around 145,000 children and young people of school age
- Around 400,000 children under 16 are expected to be eligible for the Scottish Child Payment when it is extended, with an anticipated take-up of over 300,000 according to the Scottish Fiscal Commission. Expenditure is expected to be around £428 million in the first full financial year, 2023/24. This can change depending on take-up of the benefit and the Scottish Government has a duty to encourage benefit take-up
- 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
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