Local politicians Gavin Newlands and Tom Arthur have praised an announcement from The Scottish Government that it will use new social security powers to introduce a new benefit to tackle child poverty.
The Scottish Child Payment will be introduced by 2022 for all eligible families with children under 16. The Payment will begin for children under six by early 2021, with the payment set at £10 per week.
This new benefit will provide support for families on low incomes, reduce child poverty and mitigate some of the damaging impact of UK Government austerity and welfare cuts. It will be paid monthly and will be available to all children in eligible families with qualifying benefits including Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance and Child Tax Credits. There will be no cap on the number of children in families.
When fully introduced, the payment to around 410,000 eligible children and a substantial investment in families most in need in Scotland.
Gavin Newlands SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said: “The Tory UK Government obsession with austerity has shamefully focussed on slashing the UK social security leaving many in dire circumstances, one only has to look at the shambolic roll out of Universal Credit and the introduction of the abhorrent rape clause as two of the more high profile examples.
“In stark contrast, the Scottish Government has once again shown the way with the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment which will lift thousands of children in Renfrewshire out of poverty and is just another example of the SNP supporting the most vulnerable in our society.”
Tom Arthur, SNP MSP for Renfrewshire South, said: “This is a ground breaking proposal which will have a real positive impact on children and families in Renfrewshire South and across Scotland – with over a third of all children directly benefitting.
“This SNP Government already has a strong track record on delivering on social security. From the new Best Start Grant, new employability programmes and encouraging flexible work, increases to the value of the School Clothing Grant, almost doubling funded provision of Early Learning and Childcare, and delivering 50,000 warm and affordable homes.
“This is a real preventative measure that will tackle child poverty head on in Scotland and help mitigate against continuing the UK Government austerity threatening to push an increasing number of families into poverty.
“However, UK welfare cuts will be an annual £3.7 billion in Scotland next year and it is clear that more powers are needed to ensure we are not fighting poverty with one hand tied behind our back.”
Photo Credit: Michal Jarmoluk