The Scottish Government is increasing a benefit for children in Scotland which is aimed at tackling child poverty.
This month, the Scottish Child Benefit is doubling to £20 per week per child, with the scope of eligibility set to be extended by the end of the year to around 400,000 children.
Local people in Perth and Kinross can also access further support from the Perth and Kinross Council whose welfare rights team work to make sure local people have access to the benefits they are entitled to.
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon explained: “We are using our social security powers to take immediate steps to put cash in the pockets of families by doubling the Scottish Child Payment to £20 per week per child – support not replicated anywhere else in the UK.
“This is a key part of our national mission to tackle child poverty. We will further increase this payment to £25 by the end of 2022 – five times the amount campaigners originally asked. This will gives families additional financial support of £1,300 for each eligible child every year. We will back this with investment of around £671 million over the next two years – just part of our package of support for families.”
Many families across the country have felt an extra strain on their bills this month already following what was termed ‘bleak Friday’ once bills rose on April the 1st.
For locals looking to find the support which they are eligible for, the Perth and Kinross Council’s Welfare Rights Team is looking to help connect residents with appropriate entitlements.
A spokesperson for the Perth and Kinross Council said: “The Welfare Rights Team aims to ensure that the residents of Perth and Kinross are not missing out on their entitlement to benefits and other related help by providing a free, confidential and impartial benefits advice, information and appeal representation service.
“People contact the Welfare Rights Team with a variety of benefit related issues – including a significant life event or change in circumstances such as being made unemployed, giving birth, being diagnosed with a health problem; struggling financially; or you have been turned down for benefit or you are unhappy with the decision.
“For more information or advice, you can phone the Welfare Rights Advice Line on 01738 476900 (option 1), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.pkc.gov.uk/wrt where there is an online form option.”
This increase in the Scottish Child Payment is aiming to tackle child poverty now and create opportunities for Scots working now and children becoming adults later.
The first minister added: “Our Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan will also build on our investment in employment support for parents, through new skills and training opportunities and key worker support to help reduce household costs and drive longer term change.
“We are determined to give children the best start and a bright future by putting more money into the pockets of those who need it most. Increasing the Scottish Child Payment will make a real difference to families and help to build a more equal and fairer Scotland for everyone.”
More information on the payment can be found on: https://www.mygov.scot/scottish-child-payment