BEST START GRANT PAYS OUT £2.7 MILLION IN FIRST TWO MONTHS

For immediate release:

BEST START GRANT PAYS OUT £2.7 MILLION IN FIRST TWO MONTHS

Families in Rutherglen and Cambuslang have benefitted from their share of under £3 million through the Scottish Government’s new Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment scheme since it opened for applications.

The Best Start Grant, which provides low-income families with financial support during the early years of a child’s life, sees eligible applicants receive £600 for their first child – £100 more than the UK government’s equivalent in England.

Since December, Social Security Scotland has made payments to more than 7,000 low income households. The support provided to families across Scotland, as of 31 January 2019, totals £2.7 million.

Best Start Grants replace and expand on the UK Government’s Sure Start Maternity Grant by providing eligible families with £600 on the birth of their first child, and £300 on the birth of any subsequent children.

Commenting, MSP Clare Haughey said:

“I am delighted that more Scottish families are receiving help from the Scottish Government’s new social security system, which puts dignity, respect and fairness at its heart.

“£2.7 million worth of payments – more than the DWP paid out in a full year under the previous system – will ensure that all Scottish children get the best possible start in life.

“It’s vital that the Scottish Government can provide help at a time when many families in South Lanarkshire are seeing UK Government social security support reduced, so if you are in receipt of benefits, then I would encourage you to check whether you are eligible for the grant.”

The Pregnancy and Baby Payment can be applied for online and by telephone on 0800 182 2222.

ENDS

Notes:

Further information can be found here:

https://www.gov.scot/news/best-start-grant-pays-out-gbp-2-7m/

To apply online visit:

https://www.mygov.scot/get-help-applying-pregnancy-baby-payment/

Official statistics, covering the first months of applications for the Best Start Grant, will be published in April 2019. More-detailed analysis will be published in a quarterly publication series starting from August 2019.

 

Date published: 13th February 2019

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