SNP MSP Tom Arthur has welcomed a brand new benefit that will provide eligible families with £10 a week for every child under 16, with introduction for under sixes starting by early 2021.

The Scottish Child Payment will give more immediate support to eligible families who need it most, as almost 60% of all children in poverty live in a family with a child under the age of six.

It will be delivered to all remaining eligible families with children under 16 by the end of 2022, with no cap on the number of children in families.

When delivered in full, 410,000 children could be eligible for the income supplement – over a third of all children. It is estimated it will lift 30,000 children out of relative poverty by 2023/24.

For a family with two children under the age of 16 this new payment would mean additional support of more than £1,000 a year.

Commenting, Tom Arthur, 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 – directly benefitting over a third of all children.

“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.”

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