New report says the SNP’s welfare policies are “UK-leading”, reducing the cost of living for families.
The impact of Scottish Government policies including child payments, free school meals, clothing grants and free bus travel on the cost of bringing up a child has now been analysed by researchers.
The steady rise in the cost of raising a child and the failure to match this with improvements in help from the state has left many families in the UK struggling to make ends meet. This report has shown that in Scotland, families are significantly better off in this regard, as a result both of Scottish government policies seeking to address the problem and childcare costs that have not risen as fast as in England.
The cost of bringing up a child, up to the age of 18, in the UK is assumed to be around £103,000 in a lone parent family and £76,000 in a two-parent family.
With the Scottish child payment doubling to £20 a week and all primary school children to receive free school meals, up to 31% (nearly £24,000) of the net cost of bringing up a child will be covered by Scottish Government policies and lower childcare costs.
The Scottish Child Payment, along with the Best Start Grant, provides vital support for families on low incomes, helps tackle child poverty and mitigates some of the most damaging aspects of a decade of Tory austerity.
Scotland is the only part of the UK where this additional financial support payment for families with young children is available, and the Scottish Child Payment is the most ambitious anti-poverty measure taken across the four nations.
These calculations are based on the Minimum Income Standard (MIS), the amount needed for UK households to achieve an acceptable living standard, as specified by members of the public in regular research carried out by Loughborough University for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.