Hyslop Welcomes Ground-Breaking Anti-Poverty Payment
16,400 Children Benefited in West Lothian
Local Constituency MSP, Fiona Hyslop, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s ground-breaking anti-poverty payment which reveals that an estimated 16,400 children from 9,500 families across West Lothian are expected to benefit from.
The Scottish Child Payment will be worth £10 per child for low-income families by the end of 2022, with introduction for under-6s starting by early 2021. The brand new benefit was described as a “game changer” and a “lifeline” by anti-poverty campaigners and is central to the SNP’s ambitions to tackle child poverty.
“This is a welcome announcement which could act as a lifeline to local low-income families. With an estimated 16,400 children expected to benefit across West Lothian, this ambitious and ground-breaking new benefit will directly tackle child poverty.
“When fully rolled out, the Scottish Child Payment will benefit over a third of all children – giving families £10 per week for every eligible child under 16 years old.
“The UK Government’s cuts are driving too many families into poverty but it is clear that this SNP Government is doing everything in its power to help local hardworking, low income families.”
The Scottish Government this week published estimates, based on the number of Tax Credit recipients prior to the rollout of Universal Credit Full Service, showing how many children and families are expected to benefit in each local authority.
John Dickie, Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland: “This new payment is an absolute game changer in the fight to end child poverty. £10 a week for each child will make a real difference to families struggling to put food on the table, heat their homes and pay for the ordinary school trips, sport and other activities that are fundamental to a decent childhood. Today’s announcement is a landmark recognition of the role the Scottish social security system can play in ending child poverty. It’s now vital that the UK government follows suit and starts to use its powers in an equally positive way and scraps the universal credit two child limit and the UK benefit freeze, so that government at every level works together to protect children from poverty.”
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance: “Amid a rising tide of poverty, the new Scottish Child Payment will act as a lifeline for families struggling to stay afloat. An additional £10 per week will help unlock tens of thousands of children from poverty and underlines the important role that Scottish social security powers have to address poverty. The early introduction of the new payment in 2020/21 for families with children under six is particularly welcome, and shows what can be done when there is political will to address poverty.”
The qualifying benefits for the Scottish Child Payment include Universal Credit and all the legacy benefits it is replacing, as well as Pension Credit. Universal Credit is in the process of being rolled out and current caseloads across local authorities are not representative of the long-term steady state. We also have limited information on the number of children in families on Universal Credit.
Given these limitations, we have estimated the above figures by applying proportions from HMRC data on the number of children and families receiving Tax Credits in each local authority prior to the rollout of Universal Credit Full Service. To avoid double counting and because most families with children in receipt of legacy benefits receive tax credits we have not factored in other legacy benefits.
The above caveats mean that the figures should be treated with caution and could overestimate or underestimate the numbers eligible in individual local authorities. We will continue to refine our analysis of the Scottish Child Payment as we develop the policy.