1,900 families in Midlothian and 1,790 families in East Lothian have benefitted from the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment, with £330,940 paid out to families in Midlothian and £301,260 in East Lothian.
The most recent Scottish Government figures demonstrate how many families across Midlothian and East Lothian have benefitted from the support since its introduction in February to 30th June 2021.
So far, across Scotland 108,000 children have benefitted from the payment which provides eligible families with £10-a-week.
Commenting, Colin Beattie said:
“The Scottish Child Payment has been described by charities as game-changing and we are seeing that difference across Scotland and it is fantastic to see it make such a difference to the lives of families in Midlothian and East Lothian too.
“Not only is the Scottish Child Payment giving low-income families extra support, but coupled with other payments such as the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods, eligible families could receive up to £5,200 extra by the time their child turns six.
“I would urge any families who have not yet applied to do so.
“In Scotland, we are building a social security system built on fairness, dignity and respect. Contrast that with the system at Westminster where the Tories are planning on cutting Universal Credit at a time when vulnerable families need it most.”
L-R: Katie, Chris, Susan, Wilma, Dorothy and Colin
MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, visited Musselburgh Library on Tuesday morning after a constituent got in touch about the amazing work the library has been doing over the Covid-19 pandemic.
Musselburgh Library are really at the heart of their community catering to all ages and needs. From their walk and talk book group where people can go for a walk and on return to the library have a cup of tea in the garden and are given books, this is a collaboration with Ageing Well East Lothian. To their bookbug sessions for under 5’s and home delivery service for those unable go to the library which is supported by volunteers.
The library is also working with Dementia Friendly East Lothian to have a friendship group in the library and hopes to start this as soon as guidelines allow.
Following the visit, Colin Beattie MSP said:
“It’s not everyday a constituent contacts me to give praise to a local service. Upon hearing my constituent’s story and the support they received during the pandemic, I had to go along and meet Wilma and the library staff myself.
“The staff were not only extremely friendly but very knowledge. The staff at this library, and our other local libraries in the community have went the extra mile to support locals during the pandemic. Even when the library was closed they were working in other areas supporting those who were shielding or children in the local school HUBS.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our hardworking library staff across the constituency for continuing to support their local residents throughout the pandemic. It shows these services are vital to our communities and I wish Musselburgh Library all the best with their projects going forward.”
Colin Beattie has urged projects in Midlothian and East Lothian to apply for the newly launched Scotland Loves Local Fund.
The scheme has been launched by the SNP Scottish Government to support local projects run by organisations like town centre partnerships, chambers of commerce or community and charity trusts. It will provide projects with match funding of between £5,000 and £25,000.
Eligible projects could include things like community shops, marketing and digital schemes, or enabling larger construction projects delivery.
Commenting, Colin Beattie said:
“The Scotland Loves Local Fund has been launched by the SNP Scottish Government as a way to help our town centres such as Midlothian and East Lothian recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic.
“Midlothian and East Lothian has a number of fantastic local community projects to stimulate growth and footfall into the area and this funding will allow them to continue to make our town centres a more vibrant place and stimulate the local economy.
“Not only is the funding important but when people shop locally and support local businesses it also boosts the economy here and ensure that money spent in the local area stays in the local area.
“I would urge local projects to apply for the Scotland Loves Local Fund and encourage people in Midlothian and East Lothian to continue to support local business at every opportunity.”
Details on how to apply can be found here:
Colin Beattie MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh is calling for Boris Johnson to apologise for his insensitive comments regarding former Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher closing coal mines.
Boris Johnson reportedly joked and laughed as he made these offensive comments about Thatcher helping the environment by closing these mines.
Commenting, Colin Beattie states:
“I am deeply shocked and angered by the Prime Minister’s comments.
“Many communities were devastated by Thatcher’s actions and even today, this devastation is still deep-rooted into those communities.
“The destruction of jobs, livelihoods, and communities is not a matter any Prime Minister should be laughing about, let alone joking about in a country who felt the wrath of Thatcher’s policies hard.
“Time after time, Boris Johnson has shown how out of touch he is with the Scottish people. This incident clearly demonstrates why no Tory government is fit for Scotland.
“The Prime Minister should absolutely apologise immediately for his comments and remind himself of the stark reality of Thatcher’s actions.”
Eligible families in Midlothian and East Lothian are being encouraged to apply for the Best Start Foods payment after the SNP Scottish Government delivered on its promise to increase the support within its first 100 days in government.
The payment is increasing to £18 from £17 during pregnancy and for any children between one and three years old. It’s also increasing to £36 from £34 for children under one. Families already receiving the payment will automatically receive an increase.
Since its introduction by the SNP in December 2018, £60.8 million has been paid to 179,575 families across Scotland.
Commenting, Colin Beattie said:
“I am delighted that the SNP government is delivering on another one of its commitments to increase the Best Start Foods payment, which is making a difference to the lives of families in Midlothian, East Lothian and across Scotland.
“Whilst the Tories at Westminster prepare to cut support to families at a time when they need it most, the SNP is increasing support to families and ensuring that every child has the best start in life.
“If you have not applied yet I would encourage you to do so immediately or if you have any family or friends who may be eligible to encourage them too.”
Apply here: https://www.mygov.scot/best-start-grant-best-start-foods/how-to-apply