ANTI-POVERTY PAYMENT TO BENEFIT 7,500 CHILDREN IN MIDLOTHIAN AND 7,700 IN EAST LOTHIAN
Colin Beattie MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh has called on local politicians from all parties to get behind historic funding for Scotland’s new social security agency – a move that will put money directly into the pockets of low-income families and carers in Midlothian and East Lothian.
SNP Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has committed a landmark £3.4billion allocation for benefit spend in the next year – including funding to deliver the “game-changing” Scottish Child Payment by the end of this year.
An estimated 7,500 children in 4,300 families across Midlothian will benefit from the Scottish Government’s new anti-poverty payment – with the first payments made before Christmas 2020. In East Lothian, this estimated figure is 7,700 children in 4,500 families.
The Scottish Government has already introduced seven benefits including Best Start Grant, which offers financial support to low-income families in the early years of a child’s life and the Funeral Support Payment, the standard rate of which is being increased from £700 to £1,000, from April.
The Scottish Welfare Fund also increases by £3 million, from £38 million to £41 million for 2020/21.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“The SNP’s plan to commit £3.4 billion to social security is central to our commitment to tackling child poverty, and create a social security system with fairness, dignity and respect at its heart.
“This £3.4 billion will go directly to the people in Midlothian and East Lothian who need it the most. Yet, these are just the first steps in the delivery of even more benefits to support people in our society as the Scottish Government looks to tackle inequality and reduce poverty.
“Tory cuts are driving too many families into poverty – but the SNP are determined to use every power at our disposal to help families make ends meet.
“MSPs across Lothian should now get behind the SNP’s proposals, and secure substantial funding support for carers and low income families.”