Scottish Child Payment helping families of more than 323,000 children
Total spending on five family payments passes £596 million
The families of more than 323,000 under-16s were benefitting from Scottish Child Payment at the end of September, official statistics show.
Figures published yesterday show the payment of £25 per week was reaching 323,315 children – an increase of more than 7,000 compared to 30 June 2023.
The Scottish Fiscal Commission had forecast that the average number of children receiving support in 2023/24 would be 309,000.
Yesterday’s statistics release also shows that the combined overall amount paid out across Social Security Scotland’s five family payments, since they launched, is more than £596 million.
That’s made up of £458.5 million for Scottish Child Payment and £138.1 million for the rest of the five family payments - Best Start Foods and three Best Start Grants (Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Early Learning Payment and School Age Payment) combined.
The average time taken to process applications has also improved across the five family payments.
For Scottish Child Payment, the average wait was six working days in September, down from 13 working days in June.
For Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods, the average wait was four working days, down from 12 over the same period.
Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley-Anne Somerville yesterday said:
“As the First Minister has made clear, tackling child poverty is a key mission for the Scottish Government and these figures show we are reaching more of the children and young people who need our help. We’re doing it more quickly too.
“It is estimated that Scottish Child Payment will lift around 50,000 children out of poverty in the current financial year.
“Our work with this uniquely Scottish benefit is in stark contrast with the UK Government’s approach of continued austerity, further outlined in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last week.
“Scottish Child Payment, Best Start Foods and our Best Start Grants provide a robust safety net and are among many actions we are taking in government to lift people out of poverty.
“However, I would continue to encourage people to spread the word as we want all eligible people to get the help they are entitled to.”
The Scottish Government has twice increased Scottish Child Payment; first from £10 to £20 per week per child then £25 when it extended to include all eligible children under 16 in November last year.
The statistics are available in full here:
Best Start Grant Early Learning and School Age Payments are paid automatically to parents and carers who already receive Scottish Child Payment when their children become eligible.
The Scottish Government estimates that the extended and increased Scottish Child Payment could lift 50,000 children out of relative poverty in 2023/24, reducing child poverty levels by five percentage points, according to the most recent modelling published in June 2023.
Families who already get Scottish Child Payment for a child under the age of six can add older children to their existing award. There is no cap on the number of children in one family who can receive Scottish Child Payment.
Families and carers can apply at mygov.scot/scottishchildpayment or by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.
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