THE Scottish Child Payment has so far paid out £17.6 million to families in need of support since it was introduced in February.

More than 108,000 children have so far benefitted from the scheme from February to June 30, 2021, according to the latest official statistics.

The £10 per week benefit is unique to Scotland and has the ability to benefit around 133,000 children according to forecasts from the Scottish Fiscal Commission.

The payment supports low-income families with children aged under six. It provides regular, additional financial support for families in receipt of qualifying benefits to assist with the costs of caring for a child.

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The payment is to be made available to children aged six to 15 by the end of 2022. 

Parents and carers are able to apply for all eligible children in their household in a single application and can also apply for other benefits for children under six such as the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods at the same time.

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: “Tackling child poverty is a national mission for this government and I am proud that we are already supporting over one hundred thousand children through this brand new benefit. The Scottish Child Payment is unparalleled across the UK and unique in being a benefit to tackle child poverty head-on.

“Ahead of the rollout to under 16s by the end of 2022, we have introduced bridging payments worth the same as Scottish Child Payment. This £520 a year will be paid in 2021 and 2022 to provide immediate support to around 145,000 children and young people of school age.

“We are making significant investment to tackle child poverty. Taken together, our investment in bridging payments and the Scottish Child Payment will total £145m this year, allowing us to reach as many low-income families as possible right now.

“The Scottish Child Payment together with the three Best Start Grant payments and Best Start Foods could give families on low incomes up to £5200 by the time their first child turns six.

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“We have also committed to significantly increasing the level of Scottish Child Payment, following the planned rollout to 6 to 15-year-olds, in order to maximise the impact on child poverty, with the full £20 payment being achieved within the lifetime of the Parliament.

“This Government will continue to use the limited powers we have to tackle poverty and inequality and create a fairer Scotland.”

Payments through the scheme were made to people living in all 32 local authorities in Scotland with the highest value made to people in Glasgow City at £2.9m, followed by North Lanarkshire and Fife at £1.4m each.