From November 2020, low-income families with a child under six will be able to apply for £10 per child, per week to assist with living costs, with payments to start from the end of February.
Despite the significant impact of COVID-19 and the challenges of lockdown, the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment has only been delayed by two months and will go a long way towards mitigating the effect the current climate has had on those facing poverty.
In a renewed commitment to ensure no one is left behind, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell also confirmed that a further £2.35 million will be made available to the Parental Employability Support Fund this financial year to boost the £5 million already allocated and £1 million of this additional funding will be targeted at supporting disabled parents to progress toward employment and compete for jobs.
Ms Campbell said:
“These past months have been challenging for everyone but we know that coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a greater impact on the poorest in our society – many of whom will have struggled to make ends meet.
“That is why we’ve worked at pace and focused resources on getting the new Scottish Child Payment ready for applications. We know this vital payment will play a key role in tackling the blight of child poverty so to ensure that families receive the full support they are entitled to, we will link the Scottish Child Payment with the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods through the application process. With all three schemes combined, low income families will receive over £5,200 of support for their first child by the time they turn six.
“What’s more, we are making an additional £2.35 million available for the Parental Employability Support Fund to focus support for both disabled and young parents and to maximise the impact of expanded Early Learning and Childcare entitlements. This will help families to move towards and into employment and provide wrap-around support and advice on issues such as housing and childcare.
“We are determined to continue to tackle child poverty. This has been shown by our investment targeted at children living in low-income households rising to £672 million – part of an estimated £1.96 billion directed at low-income households in 2019-20.”
George Adam said:
“I have always been very passionate and outspoken about how our children are the future of this country and as such deserve the very best start in life possible.
“This should not be determined by postcode or family circumstances so I am delighted by the SNP Government’s continued drive and determination to tackle child poverty head on and provide easy access to support and financial help.
“What is important here is that no limits have been placed on the number of children supported by the Scottish Child Payment, Best Start Grant or Best Start Foods scheme and together the three Best Start Grant payments are worth £1,100 for the first child and £800 for second and subsequent children. Additionally, payments through Best Start Foods are worth over £1,000 by the time a child reaches the age of three.
“I know all of these payments will go a long way towards helping families right here in Paisley and I look forward to our community beginning to see the benefits of the new Scottish Child Payment when payments start next year.”