Further increase to Scottish child payment 'hugely welcome'

Published on: 
24 March 2022
Written by: 

John Dickie

Director of CPAG in Scotland

Further increase to Scottish child payment “hugely welcome” say child poverty campaigners

· “stands in stark contrast to the UK Chancellor’s lack of support for families yesterday”

· but value of payment must be kept under review to ensure it’s sufficient to meet targets

 

Responding to the publication today of the Scottish Government’s new child poverty delivery plan, John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland said;

 

“The announcement of a further £5 a week increase to the Scottish child payment by end of 2022 is hugely welcome, and stands in stark contrast to the UK Chancellor’s lack of support for families yesterday. On top of the doubling of the payment to £20 a week from next month it will make a big difference to struggling families across Scotland. The value and reach of the payment must now be kept under close review to ensure it is sufficient to help meet the statutory child poverty targets in 2024 and 2030. The Scottish government’s commitment today to better mitigate the UK government’s benefit cap will also be welcomed by the 4000 families affected in Scotland, many in the deepest poverty.

 

“Families living in poverty have been left brutally exposed to soaring energy prices and food price hikes so the clear focus of this plan on increasing incomes and reducing the costs families face is absolutely right. With its increased social security and employment support offer to parents this plan lays the foundations, but delivery is now the key to further progress. Families need adequate social security, good quality decently paid jobs, more funded childcare and genuinely affordable homes. They also need to be able to access all the support they need, when they need it. They need a ‘no wrong door’ approach to the services and benefits that open up opportunities and prevent poverty.”

 

Mr Dickie also called for more immediate support to protect families from the current cost of living crisis;

 

“More immediate support is also needed to protect families through the current cost of living crisis. Doubling bridging payments for school aged children until the child payment is fully rolled out and pressing on with the promised roll out of free school meals to all primary pupils are two immediate further actions that would provide much needed relief to family budgets as this new delivery plan is implemented.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes

 

The Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 requires Scottish Ministers to publish child poverty delivery plans at regular intervals, with annual reports to measure progress. It sets in statute four interim targets to be met in 2023, with final targets to be met by 2030. These are:

  • Fewer than 18% of children living in families in relative poverty in 2023-24, reducing to fewer than 10% by 2030.
  • Fewer than 14% of children living in families in absolute poverty in 2023-24, reducing to fewer than 5% by 2030.
  • Fewer than 8% of children living in families living in combined low income and material deprivation in 2023-24, reducing to fewer than 5% by 2030.

Fewer than 8% of children living in families in persistent poverty in 2023-24, reducing to fewer than 5% by 2030