Calls for £25 child payment to rise in line with inflation next year

The benefit is due to be expanded next month to £25 a week and cover families with children under the age of 16.

Calls for Scottish ministers to boost child payment in line with inflation ahead of October expansion iStock

Campaigners have urged the Scottish Government to ensure the child payment rises at least at the rate of inflation next year.

They praised the benefit, which is due to be expanded next month to £25 a week and cover families with children under the age of 16.

However, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) members have asked the government to “build on success” and ensure that more children benefit from the payment in 2023.

The group believes that a current government consultation asking whether the child payment should be limited by its status as a “top-up” to UK benefits is an opportunity to place the payment on a new footing to ensure fewer children miss out.

They said their evidence shows “too many” children in low-income families are not reviving the benefit, in part as the payment is a “top-up” to universal credit.

Establishing the payment as stand-alone benefit would create potential to shape the payment so that more children in hard up families benefit, CPAG said.

“The Scottish child payment is already helping thousands of families just when they need support most,” said John Dickie, director of CPAG in Scotland.

“It’s increase to £25 a week and roll out to all eligible under 16s next month really can’t come soon enough.

“It’s now vital that the £25 payment holds its real terms value in the face of rising costs. We urge Ministers to commit to at least an above inflation increase in April next year.

“In the meantime, the government’s consultation on the future status of the payment is a welcome opportunity to look at how the success of the payment can be built on so that no child at risk of poverty misses out.”

Social security minister Ben Macpherson said the Scottish Government had a “legal duty to publish a report each year that sets out the impact of inflation on social security benefits and our plans for the next financial year”, which would be done in “due course”.

He said: “Recently, in April, we doubled the Scottish child payment to £20 per week per eligible child and this will further increase to £25 per week from November – a rise of 150% in less than eight months providing important additional support for low-income families which is only available in Scotland.

“In March we also uprated eight other Scottish benefits by 6%, which was significantly higher than the 3.1% CPI by which most UK Government benefits were increased.”

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