Local MSP Highlights Best Start Grants

Local MSP for the Linlithgow Constituency, Fiona Hyslop, highlights automatic payments to help families with cost of living.

Over 43,000 payments have been automatically awarded to help parents and carers with the cost of living and starting school, latest official figures show.

The introduction of automatic payments means that thousands of people receiving Scottish Child Payment have been awarded Best Start Grant Early Learning and School Age Payments without the need to apply separately.

Each benefit awards people one-off payments of £294.70 per child, helping with costs like clothes, toys and school trips.

Commenting Fiona said:

“The introduction of automatic payments means families can quickly receive financial aid to support their child’s development.

“Those eligible should receive these payments automatically, however I would urge those who don’t to check if they are eligible and get the support they are entitled to.

“The UK Government have chosen to continue with welfare cuts during a Cost of Living crisis and make no equivalent provision to either the Early Learning or School Age Payments.

“I am pleased to see the Scottish Government has designated £3 billion each year to support those who need it most and taking away the need to apply for this grant makes it easier for families to receive the support they need.”



Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods: high level statistics to 30 September 2023

The Scottish Government committed to a record £6.3 billion for benefits expenditure in its 2024-25 budget, announced in December Scottish Budget 2024 to 2025: Deputy First Minister statement – gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

School Age Payment is a £294.70 grant per child to help with the costs of preparing for school when a child is first old enough to start primary school. Early Learning Payment is the same amount to help with the costs of pre-school. Best Start Grant – Social security – gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

People who do not get automatic awards can check eligibility and apply online at mygov.scot/benefits or by calling Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.