Local MSP Tom Arthur has welcomed news that the Scottish Government’s new Scottish Child Payment benefit is ahead of schedule, meaning that this support will reach eligible Renfrewshire South families sooner than expected.

As announced in this week’s Programme for Government, low-income families will now be able to apply for the new £10 a week payment for every child aged 0-6 next year. As part of measures to lift 30,000 children out of poverty, the Scottish Child Payment, which was due to launch in 2021, will now open for applications in autumn 2020, with the first payments reaching families by Christmas.

Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur commented:

“Scotland is facing a spike in child poverty as a result of welfare cuts imposed by the UK Government, but this new payment is a game changer for families on low incomes. It will mean more families are able to make ends meet and there is no cap in the number of eligible children per family.

“I know this will make a massive difference for many of my constituents and I am delighted that part of the Programme for Government has confirmed that the payment for under 6s can now be introduced even earlier than planned. This will ensure more money reaches the pockets of low-income families in Renfrewshire South sooner than originally intended.

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 rolled out in full to eligible families by the end of 2022, benefiting 410,000 children – over a third of all children in Scotland – and backed by £180 million of investment. It will put £500 a year, for each child, in the pockets of families and it will lift 30,000 children out of poverty.

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