Gordon Welcomes Increase In Support For Families Across Edinburgh
SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald has welcomed the package of measures announced today by the Scottish Government to provide immediate support and break the cycle of child poverty for people across Edinburgh.
Shona Robison, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, announced an increase of a further £5 to the 'game-changing' Scottish Child Payment - bringing the total payment to £25 per week per child at the end of the year, following the increase to £20 next week.
This move will see the SNP Government’s package of five family benefits for low income families, including the increased Scottish Child Payment, now totalling over £10,000 to low income families by the time a first child turns 6, and £9,700 for subsequent children.
It directly benefits 7,995 of children across Edinburgh already in receipt of the payment. In contrast, families in England and Wales receive less than £1,800 for the first child and under £1,300 for subsequent children. The SNP Cabinet Secretary also announced:
an increase in employment services with the aim of supporting up to 12,000 parents into fair and sustainable work, backed by investment of up to £81 million in 2022-23
investment of up to £15 million in a new fund to tackle the financial barriers parents face when they enter the labour market
immediate steps to mitigate the Tories’ Benefit Cap, which is impacting many families already struggling to make ends meet, backed by up to £10m
It is estimated that, through these and current Scottish Government actions, 60,000 fewer children will be living in relative poverty in 2023/24 compared with 2017. Commenting Gordon MacDonald said, "Today's package of measures to tackle child poverty is hugely welcome and the impact it will have on households across Edinburgh cannot be underestimated - increasing the Scottish Child Payment even further, to £25 per week per child, will make such a difference to families struggling to cope with the Tory cost of living crisis right now. "This stands in stark contrast to the Tory Chancellor’s spring statement which utterly failed to provide any meaningful lifeline support for people across Edinburgh who are facing soaring energy bills and a cost of living crisis now - and that was a political choice. "I am glad that families across Edinburgh have an SNP Scottish Government taking serious, life-changing action to protect them where it can within limited powers and a fixed budget. The significant parental employment package also announced will help people across Edinburgh into fair and sustainable work.
"Other political parties must now recognise the reality that whilst the SNP is doing what it can to put money in people’s pockets in Scotland and tackle poverty, Westminster is consistently undermining Scotland’s efforts through their damaging policy agenda. "Today's actions from the Scottish Government make it crystal clear that Edinburgh and the people that live here, would be better off with independence and all the levers to tackle poverty and hardship.”