Scottish Child Payment: factsheet

Information about the new benefit for low income families with children under six.

Our Tackling child poverty delivery plan 2018-2022 set out a commitment to "work towards introducing an income supplement within the lifetime of the delivery plan".

While Scotland has the lowest rates of child poverty in the UK a quarter of Scottish children still live in relative poverty.

It is estimated that the Scottish Child Payment will cost £180 million in 2023-2024, lifting 30,000 children out of poverty and reducing the relative child poverty rate by an estimated three percentage points.

It is estimated that in 2021-2022, 170,000 children aged under six in 140,000 households will be eligible for early delivery of the Scottish Child Payment, which will launch by the end of this parliamentary term.

Around 410,000 children (under 16) in 250,000 households will be eligible for the benefit in 2023-2024, which will be rolled out by the end of 2022.

On 26 June 2019 we published the first year progress report on the tackling child poverty delivery plan. The plan is backed by a number of investments, including the £50 million Tackling Child Poverty Fund.

On the same day we published a Scottish Child Payment policy position paper, which sets out the development of the payment and the expected policy impacts it will have, and the Analysis of options for the income supplement, a detailed analytical paper that shows the consideration given to a wider set of policy options. 

Relative child poverty is defined as children living in households with equivalised net income (adjusted to take into account the size and composition of the household) less than 60% of the UK median income. Relative child poverty is a measure of whether the income of the poorest families is keeping pace with middle income families across the UK.

Eligibility will be extended to families in receipt of other benefits. While further policy development will be undertaken over the summer. The qualifying benefits will be:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

The application process will follow established procedures within Social Security Scotland, ensuring we reduce the barriers to claiming, promote take up, make the process as simple and straightforward as possible, and ensure clients are treated with dignity and respect. The expectation, as with the other benefits being delivered by the agency, is that people would have three channels by which they could apply: online, by phone, or via a paper form.

Scottish Government child poverty targets





Interim targets


Final targets

Relative child poverty




Absolute child poverty




Combined low income and child material deprivation




Persistent child poverty




Actions across the Government helping to tackle child poverty include our employment support service Fair Start Scotland and encouraging flexible work, the introduction of the new Best Start Grant, increasing the value of the School Clothing Grant, almost doubling funded provision of Early Learning and Childcare, delivering 50,000 warm and affordable homes.


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