Alba call for increased Scottish Child Payment as spike in crisis grants expected in New Year
Alba Party’s Holyrood leader Ash Regan MSP has called on the Scottish Government to increase the Scottish Child Payment.
Her comments come as ALBA Party today (Wednesday 3rd January) released figures that they say show that Crisis Grants are likely increase in the new year.
Last year a total of 156305 crisis grants were paid out and there was a near 30% spike in Crisis Grants issues in January with over £1.9Million paid out, up from £1.5M in December.
Glasgow paid out the most in crisis grants at over £3.8M followed by Fife at £2.5M, Edinburgh £2M, North Lanarkshire at £1.8M and Aberdeen at just below £1M.
Several Councils did not provide the information requested meaning the total amount paid out in crisis grants last year is likely to be close to £20Million.
Alba Party’s Holyrood leader says that the figures should serve as a stark reminder in the New Year that poverty in Scotland needs to be treated as a much more urgent priority, stating that the current draft Scottish Budget doesn’t go far enough to tackle poverty.
Regan wants to see the Scottish Child Payment increased to £40 per week.
Commenting Alba Party Holyrood leader Ash Regan MSP said:
"The cost of living crisis is having a disproportionate impact on the poorest members of our society. People with the lowest incomes pay the highest energy costs and the pay the highest borrowing costs.
"The levels of child poverty in Scotland are a national scandal. Scotland is an energy-rich land. Across the North Sea, Norway is one of the world’s richest countries but in Scotland 1 in 4 children are living in poverty. ALBA’s are calling for the Scottish Child Payment to be increased to £40 a week to help ensure more families don’t have to rely on crisis grants this year. Humza Yousaf promised that if he became First Minister he would increase the Child Payment to £30 a week but the current draft budget fails to deliver that.
"We can see from the large amount of Crisis grants paid last year and the near 30% spike that we saw last January that too many families will start the new year in hardship.
"The Scottish Parliament must make tackling poverty a priority this year, at the moment the Draft budget does not.”