Hyslop Hails Radical Move to Tackle Child Poverty in West Lothian
Fiona Hyslop MSP for the Linlithgow Constituency has praised the SNP Government’s Announcement of a new social benefit designed to lift children across Scotland out of poverty.
By the end of 2022, eligible families in West Lothian will now receive an extra £10 a week for every child under 16 – low income families with children under the age of six will be fast tracked and start to receive the benefit in early 2021.
“This is a radical and very welcome announcement – and it’s exactly what we need if we are to reduce child poverty levels here in West Lothian in the face of ongoing welfare cuts from the UK Tory Government.
“This announcement means that eligible families in West Lothian – Households with children who claim Universal Credit, Legacy Benefits and/or Pension Credit – with two children under 16 will receive an additional £1,000 a year to spend on day to day essentials from clothing to school equipment.
“This is bold and important action from the Scottish Government, tackling poverty and giving our young people from low income backgrounds the very best start in life. It is only a shame that this benefit could go so much further without Westminster imposed austerity on our local families and communities. “
Once fully rolled out, the payment will benefit up to 410,000 children across Scotland – not only supporting those in poverty and but also preventing those on the breadline from sliding under. There is no cap on the number of children in eligible families.
John Dickie, Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said:
“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.”
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, added:
“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.”