The Scottish Child Payment will be doubled to £20 per week per child from April 2022.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP confirmed that more than 105,000 children across Scotland will benefit from the increased payment, which supports low income families with children aged under 6.
First introduced in February 2021 as a £10 per week payment designed to tackle child poverty, it provides regular, additional financial support for eligible families.
The benefit, which only the SNP Government provides in the UK, will be fully rolled out to children under the age of 16 by the end of 2022, subject to data on qualifying benefits being received from the Department of Work and Pensions. It is expected over 400,000 children could be eligible for the doubled payment from that point.
From 2023/24 it will represent an annual investment in tackling child poverty of around £360 million a year. The increase to £20 per week further underlines the SNP Government’s national mission to tackle child poverty.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“In the SNP we believe that every child deserves the best start in life, but after a decade of Tory austerity, 60% of all children in poverty in Scotland live in a family where a child is under 6.
“This is why the SNP Government has 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.
“Doubling the Child Payment, in line with the Holyrood manifesto, will have a real impact with around 400,000 children under 16 anticipated to be eligible.”
Like many other anti-poverty and children’s organisations, the Poverty Alliance welcomed the announcement, stating:
“The decision to double the Scottish Child Payment from April is one that will loosen the grip of poverty on the lives of thousands of children in Scotland.
“Doubling the payment from April is the right and just thing to do, and will help to keep people afloat amid the rising tide of poverty that’s sweeping across the country.
“It’s a commitment that can help meet our national missions of ending child poverty, provided we build on this toward a Scotland where no child has to suffer the injustice of poverty. Today, we have taken a step toward that vision.”