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730 East Dunbartonshire families have benefitted from new welfare payments introduced by the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government opened the Best Start Grant for applications in December 2018.

The payment provides parents or carers who get certain benefits or tax credits with financial support during the key early years of a child's life.

In the first year of their introduction, payments worth £211,433 have been made to East Dunbartonshire families.

The Best Start Grant provides payments to eligible families at the birth of children, at nursery age and at school age.

Commenting, Ms Mackay said:

“The SNP are determined to use our powers to build a social security system built on dignity and respect.

“The Best Start Grant provides crucial financial support to families at key stages of their children’s lives, and I’m delighted that hundreds of families in East Dunbartonshire have already benefitted.

“This Grant replaces and expands upon the previous UK Government Sure Start Grant by removing the limit on the number of children who would receive support and extending the application window to six months after birth, giving parents and carers longer to apply.

“This is just one of the ways the SNP in government are working to tackle child poverty – with the first payments of our innovative new Scottish Child Payment set to be made this year.

“Sadly, the need to mitigate Tory cuts like the Bedroom Tax leaves us working with one hand tied behind our back.

“It’s time for Scotland to have full control of all social security powers so that we can build a fairer country.”

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