Aberlour Children’s Charity has today (26th January) launched its inaugural petition asking the Scottish Government to double the Scottish Child Payment from £10 to £20 per child per week by 2022 to help low-income families survive. The public is asked to act now and sign the petition found here which will be presented to the new Scottish Government in June 2021.
Recent research has highlighted the stark level of poverty and deprivation for so many families across Scotland. Before Covid-19 around 1 in 4 children in Scotland were living in poverty. As a result of the pandemic and repeated lockdowns, many more families across the country are struggling to make ends meet and risk falling or being pushed deeper, into poverty. Failure to act will result in a further rise in child poverty.
The first step towards lifting children and families out of poverty is to ensure that they have money to provide for themselves. Aberlour believes that this must be done by applying a ‘cash first’ approach to get money directly to struggling families. While low-income families welcome the new £10 per week per child benefit, which will be rolled out for under 6s in February, it will not go far enough in helping to meet Scotland’s child poverty reduction targets. Increasing the Scottish Child Payment to £20 per child per week by 2022 will enable families to do more than just survive and it is estimated that doubling the Scottish Child Payment could lift an additional 20,000 children out of poverty*.
Aberlour’s petition stems from one of the asks in its newly launched “Cash Now Families Always” manifesto in preparation for the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May 2021. With the upcoming elections, Aberlour has taken urgent action asking all political parties to commit to the manifesto’s six points** to help struggling families across Scotland as the cost of living continues to rise and the pressures on families continue to mount.
Martin Canavan, Head of Policy and Participation, says: “Right now thousands of families in Scotland are living in the grip of poverty and despair and are being forced to choose between feeding, clothing, or heating their children. This can’t be right. Please sign our petition to ask for the Scottish Child Payment to be doubled and help lift families and children out of poverty”.
Single Mum Haley, from Falkirk, has really struggled financially and has found it hard to keep her 4year old daughter and baby girl fed and clothed whilst paying the gas and electricity bills. She has been given help from Aberlour’s Urgent Assistance Fund with basics essentials such as food, baby clothes and cot, a child’s bed, clothing, toiletries and household cleaning equipment.
Already living hand to mouth and finding it hard to make ends meet, Haley worries that even the slightest set back would leave her and her family desperate for more help.
Doubling the Scottish Child Payment from £10 to £20 per week per child would give Haley, and thousands of other low-income families, peace of mind and a chance to provide for her children properly.
“An additional £10 per child per week would make a massive difference to the girls and me. The cost of living is going up all the time and just knowing that we could afford everyday essentials like food and clothing, without having to rely on charities, would be so good.
On behalf of all families who are finding it tough financially we would be really grateful if you could sign this petition. Thank you.”
Please support us by signing the petition here.