- Document Cover
- Summary of recommendations and observations
- Executive Summary
- Scottish Child Payment
- Best Start
- Child Winter Heating Assistance (CWHA)
- Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement (CCAS)
- Annex A: Overview – powers and constraints
- Annex B: Summary of key provisions in the draft
- Annex C: Scrutiny timeline
Scottish Child Payment
SCoSS welcomes the Scottish Government’s decision to increase the Scottish Child Payment (SCP) from £10 to by £20 per week as part of its strategy to tackle child poverty. This considerably exceeds the uprating of SCP by 3.1% which would be £10.31. It is particularly welcome in the context of the UK Government’s decision not to continue its £20 Covid-19 related uplift to Universal Credit (UC).
SCP is a good way to get money to families with children on Universal Credit or other qualifying benefit, although if earnings increase to the point where eligibility for them is lost, the additional loss of SCP creates a cliff-edge (this is a point we have raised before).
SCP is currently only available for children under the age of 6 years old. Children over the age of 6 years who get free school meals because of low income22 receive ‘Bridging Payments’, combining Covid-19 hardship payments and the Family Pandemic Payment into one payment of £130 made 4 times a year for each eligible child. These will be paid during 2022. The payments are administered by Local Authorities. Bridging Payments are not a form of social security assistance and no estimates on eligibility and/or take-up are produced by the Scottish Fiscal Commission.
The section 86A report flags the intention to roll out SCP to older children this year, although this is contingent on DWP furnishing the necessary data. The Scottish Government is under no obligation to uprate Bridging Payments and the section 86A report does not mention them. Officials confirmed that there is to be no change to the rate of payment in 2022. We feel there is a case to explore this.
Recommendation 2: The Scottish Government is requested to clarify if they intend to double or uprate the Scottish Child Payment bridging payment for children over 6 years.