We’re Making Ending Child Poverty A Driving Mission

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Delivering for Scotland #20: The Scottish Child Payment

Over the past 20 years, Westminster has imposed an extreme Brexit, an illegal war in Iraq, £9,000 Tuition Fees, the windrush scandal, the rape clause, the bedroom tax and a decade of Tory austerity cuts which have all pushed millions into poverty. At the same time, the Scottish Parliament has delivered free prescriptions, free tuition fees, free personal care, free bus travel, the Baby Box, world-leading climate action, and now, the Scottish Child Payment, all of which have made Scotland a fairer place to live.

Our Scottish Child Payment has been called “game-changing” by leading charities in the fight to eliminate child poverty. It will be our national mission to eliminate child poverty in Scotland, if re-elected we’re planning to double the Child Payment.

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.

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This Covid-19 crisis has shown that we must all do what we can to support the health, welfare and wellbeing of the people of Scotland. We are facing an unprecedented situation that requires a practical response – at scale and pace – to help people most at risk of poverty in our community.

Since this pandemic started, the Scottish Government has prioritised the early introduction of the Scottish Child Payment for families with children under-6, despite the impact and disruption of Covid-19, was able to start payments from February 2021.

Scotland is the only part of the UK where this additional payment for families with young children will be available. The payment could support up to 194,000 children this financial year and the payment will be made every four weeks.

The new benefit currently provides £10 per week for each child, but we will go even further. It is the biggest benefit that the Scottish Government has introduced to date, and the most ambitious anti-poverty measure currently being undertaken anywhere in the UK.

The Scottish Child Payment is one the most progressive policy proposals put forward since devolution, and will be a lifeline for families across Scotland – but we could do so much more with the full powers over social security at our disposal.

With independence, we can tackle child poverty – not leave children and families depending on the whim of this callous Tory government – which is still helplessly trying to defend its indefensible decision to deprive children in England of free school meals over the holidays.

This SNP government has worked to prioritise the early introduction of this bold, ambitious new benefit – guided by doing what we know is right to shift the curve on child poverty.