The Scottish government is fast-tracking its plans to tackle soaring child poverty by bringing forward benefits reforms which could give poor families £500 extra a year.
Dubbed the Scottish Child Payment, the new policy will first be rolled out by 2021 for families with a child under six. (Almost 60 per cent of all children in poverty in Scotland live in a family where a child is under six years old.) That means families will feel the benefits of the payment a year earlier than planned.
And by 2022 the new payment will be extended to families with children under 16.
The announcement follows a report by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) exposing the harm done to working families by the two-child limit, which puts a cap on the number of children in each family eligible for Universal Credit.
Child benefit payments currently sit at £20.70 for the first child and £13.70 for each further child; the new £10 a week will be on top of this.
Communities secretary Aileen Campbell blamed Westminster-imposed welfare cuts for Scotland’s spike in child poverty.