The SNP candidate for Bo’ness and Blackness, Stacey Devine, has welcomed the doubling of the Scottish Child Payment as well as re-iterating what the SNP has done and will do to reduce the cost of living locally and across Scotland.
The flagship family payment has now doubled to £20 per week per child with 104,000 children across Scotland already benefiting from this increase.
The payment, which is unique to Scotland, was designed to tackle child poverty directly. It is one of five family benefits which provides financial support to low income families with children aged under 6.
The benefit will be extended at the end of the year to all eligible children under the age of 16 – and at that point also increase further from £20 to £25.
Once extended, it is expected over 400,000 children could be eligible. The newly doubled Scottish Child Payment, together with the three Best Start Grant payments and Best Start Foods, will provide families with more than £10,000 by the time their first child turns 6 and £9,700 for subsequent children. This compares to less than £1,800 for an eligible family’s first child in England and Wales, and less than £1,300 for subsequent children.
Stacey Devine said:
“The doubling of the Scottish Child Payment, which has been made possible because of the SNP Scottish Government, is welcomed, particularly now when families are being hit terribly hard by the Tory cost of living crisis.
“The SNP Scottish Government is using the limited powers it has to give every child the best possible start in life and the Scottish Child Payment is central to that. Let’s not forget that in Scotland, the SNP Scottish Government has scrapped prescription charges, introduced free period products, introduced free tuition, introduced the baby box, among many other things which helps to reduce the cost of living for everyone who lives here.
“It has also recently been shown that Scottish tax payers pay the cheapest council tax in the UK – people in band D on average pay £590 less a year than is the case in England. Further to this, those resident in England also have to pay for expensive water charges, prescriptions and may also have to pay tens of thousands in tuition fees, and so on. This shows that the SNP’s priorities are in the right place.
“At a time when households are faced with spiralling living costs, the Tory government has barely lifted a finger while the Scottish Government is showing what is possible with the limited powers we have. Of course, we could do so much more with the full powers of independence.
“I’m standing for election to Falkirk Council. Local authorities are responsible for implementing many of the policies i’ve mentioned. My pledge to the voters of Bo’ness and Blackness is that I will do what I can to continue these policies, and to support further measures to reduce the cost of living in Bo’ness and Blackness and across Falkirk Council.