RONA MACKAY MSP WELCOMES INCREASE IN SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES IN STRATHKELVIN AND BEARSDEN

SCOTTISH CHILD PAYMENT INCREASE AND PARENT EMPLOYMENT PACKAGE

SNP MSP Rona Mackay has welcomed the package of measures announced today by the Scottish Government to provide immediate support and break the cycle of child poverty for people across Strathkelvin and Bearsden.

Shona Robison, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, announced an increase of a further £5 to the 'game-changing' Scottish Child Payment - bringing the total payment to £25 per week per child at the end of the year, following the increase to £20 next week.


This move will see the SNP Government’s package of five family benefits for low-income families, including the increased Scottish Child Payment, now totalling over £10,000 to low-income families by the time a first child turns 6, and £9,700 for subsequent children.


It directly benefits 1,255 of children in East Dunbartonshire already in receipt of the payment. In contrast, families in England and Wales receive less that £1,800 for the first child and under £1,300 for subsequent children. The SNP Cabinet Secretary also announced:

  • an increase in employment services with the aim of supporting up to 12,000 parents into fair and sustainable work, backed by investment of up to £81 million in 2022-23

  • investment of up to £15 million in a new fund to tackle the financial barriers parents face when they enter the labour market

  • immediate steps to mitigate the Tories’ Benefit Cap, which is impacting many families already struggling to make ends meet, backed by up to £10m

It is estimated that, through these and current Scottish Government actions, 60,000 fewer children will be living in relative poverty in 2023/24 compared with 2017. Commenting SNP MSP Rona Mackay said: "Today's package of measures to tackle child poverty is hugely welcome and the impact it will have on households in Strathkelvin and Bearsden cannot be underestimated - increasing the Scottish Child Payment even further, to £25 per week per child, will make such a difference to families struggling to cope with the Tory cost of living crisis right now. "This stands in stark contrast to the Tory Chancellor’s spring statement which utterly failed to provide any meaningful lifeline support for people in Strathkelvin and Bearsden who are facing soaring energy bills and a cost of living crisis now - and that was a political choice. "I am glad that families in Strathkelvin and Bearsden have an SNP Scottish Government taking serious, life-changing action to protect them where it can within limited powers and a fixed budget. The significant parental employment package also announced will help people of Strathkelvin and Bearsden into fair and sustainable work.

"Other political parties must now recognise the reality that whilst the SNP is doing what it can to put money in people’s pockets in Scotland and tackle poverty, Westminster is consistently undermining Scotland’s efforts through their damaging policy agenda. "Today's actions from the Scottish Government make it crystal clear that Strathkelvin and Bearsden, and the people that live here, would be better off with independence and all the levers to tackle poverty and hardship.”


NOTES


Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2022-26


The Scottish Government’s announcement that the Scottish Child Payment will be increased to £25 per child per week has been welcomed by key stakeholders including:


  • Child Poverty Action Group Scotland: Further £5 a week increase to the Scottish child payment by end of 2022 is hugely welcome, in stark contrast to the UK Chancellor’s lack of support for families yesterday. On top of the doubling of the payment to £20 as it will make a big difference to struggling families.

  • Save the Children Scotland: Delighted to hear Cab Sec @ShonaRobison announce an additional £5 on the Scottish Child Payment and £10m fund to mitigate the unfair benefit cap, important interventions to help families across Scotland.

  • Cara Hilton, Policy & Public Affairs Manager, Trussell Trust Scotland: Pleased to hear @ShonaRobison commit to increasing the Scottish Child Payment further to £25 & to @scotgov intervention to mitigate the unfair benefit cap - looking forward to hearing more about this. Shows what we can do if we use Holyrood’s powers

  • Chris Birt, Associate Director for Scotland for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation: At £25 a week (or £1,300 per child per year), the Scottish Child Payment, once fully rolled out will really help with energy bill rises in the winter.

  • Parenting Across Scotland: We welcome the £5 a week increase to the Scottish child payment by the end of 2022. This, together with the doubling of the payment to £20, will put much needed cash in the pockets of families who need it.

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