The new Scottish Child Payment – which has been described as a “game-changer” in the fight to tackle child poverty – will open early for applications this month.
Local Constituency MSP, Fiona Hyslop, has encouraged parents and carers in West Lothian who are eligible to apply now so that the Scottish Government can process and start making payments as quickly as possible once the benefit starts in February next year.
The SNP Government has prioritised the early introduction of the new benefit, which will provide eligible families on low incomes with a child under 6, an extra £10 per week for each child.
Latest figures estimate that 194,000 children aged under-6 in Scotland will be eligible for the new Scottish Child Payment – with 7,200 children set to benefit in West Lothian.
“The SNP are dedicated to reducing child poverty in Scotland and the Scottish Child Payment is one of the ways in which this will be done. It is an ambitious, forward-thinking new benefit which will help alleviate child poverty in West Lothian.
“The pandemic has placed extra pressures on families, and the early introduction of this new support for under 6s – almost two years ahead of the original commitment for a new payment – will help alleviate this pressure.
“The SNP are committed to tackling child poverty, which is in stark contrast to the Tories at Westminster who are shamelessly defending their decision to deprive children of free school meals over the holidays.
“This new support should help support children and families as we go through the Covid-19 crisis. It will provide a lifeline for many children, young people and their families in West Lothian.
“I would encourage all who are eligible in West Lothian to apply as soon as possible.