We’re taking bold steps to tackle child poverty in Scotland

We’re determined to ensure that no child grows up in poverty anywhere in Scotland – that’s why the SNP Scottish Government is taking bold, “game-changing” steps to deliver a fairer future for all.

All eligible families can apply by calling 0800 182 2222 or visiting http://mygov.scot/benefits from Monday, November 9. Here’s all you need to know about the Scottish Child Payment and the action we’re taking to tackle child poverty.

Labelled a “game-changer” in the fight against poverty by campaigners

The Scottish Child Payment, along with our Best Start Grant, will provide support for families on low incomes, tackle child poverty and mitigate some of the most damaging aspects of a decade of Tory austerity.

The £10 per week payment is available per every child under the age of 6, will be paid every four weeks, and is double what was originally asked for through the ‘Give me Five’ campaign.

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) said the payment was “an absolute game-changer in the fight to end child poverty”, while the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights said that “the spirit of the welfare state is alive and humming” with the new social security system we’re building in Scotland.

The most ambitious anti-poverty measure anywhere in the UK

Scotland is the only part of the UK where this additional financial support payment for families with young children will be available, and the Scottish Child Payment is the most ambitious anti-poverty measure taken across the four nations.

What’s more, it has been rolled out on a record timetable of under 18 months from announcement to delivery – making it unprecedented in the UK and highlighting the priority that the Scottish Government has put on tackling child poverty.

And unlike benefits provided by the UK government, there are no limits to the number of children per family who can receive the Scottish Child Payment.

Over £5,200 of financial support by the time the first child turns six

Our Scottish Child Payment, together with Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods, will provide over £5,200 of financial support for families by the time their first child turns six. For second and subsequent children, it will provide over £4,900.

By the end of 2022, we will extend this £10 a week payment for children under 16, in line with our Child Poverty Delivery Plan.

Our Best Start Grants have already helped tens of thousands of families across Scotland

We delivered our Best Start Grant pregnancy and baby payments, six months ahead of schedule, helping parents on low incomes with £600 on the birth of their first child and £300 on the birth of later children, to help with the purchase of the big essentials they need.

Since then, we have also launched the £250 Best Start nursery and school age payments, as well as Best Start Foods to help people on low incomes who are pregnant or who have young children to buy healthy, nutritious food – including during school holidays during the COVID pandemic.

We’re delivering the baby box to every baby born in Scotland

We’re determined that every child, regardless of their circumstances, should get the best start in life, which is why we introduced Scotland’s Baby Box.

The box includes essential items for a baby’s first weeks and months, provides a safe space for babies to sleep, and helps tackle deprivation while improving health and supporting new parents.

And unlike Westminster, we’ll always provide healthy and free school meals for children

We’re continuing to provide a healthy school meal for all children in Primary 1 to 3 – around 168,000 pupils – helping to improve their health and ability to learn, and saving parents £400 per child per year.

And while Douglas Ross and the Westminster Tories are still trying to defend their indefensible decision to deprive children of free school meals, the SNP Scottish Government has committed £10 million of funding to ensure free meals can be provided throughout the school holidays to Easter and helping around 170,000 pupils.