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SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed the news that 270 families in Dumfries and Galloway received a payment of £600 on the birth of a first child, and £300 on the birth of any siblings, thanks to the Scottish Government’s Best Start Grant scheme.
Since opening for applications in December, nearly 10,000 low income families across every area of Scotland got help from the new Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby payment, with the new benefit paying out £3.5 million in the first three months.
This week, the First Minister announced a brand-new benefit as part of the Scottish Government’s new Best Start Grant package, which will build on the success of the Pregnancy and Baby Payment.
Applications are open for the new payment, which will see low-income families paid a further £250 when their children start nursery and school.
The Early Learning Payment is for children aged between two to three and a half and can be used for anything from children’s clothes and shoes to toys, books or days out.
SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said:
“This substantial increase in support for families and new babies shows what can be achieved if we take a different approach to social security – using Scotland’s new powers to support families across the country.
“In just the first two months of the Best Start Grant, the Scottish Government got more money into people’s pockets than the DWP had managed under the old system in an entire year.
“The SNP in government has consistently demonstrated a commitment to increasing financial support for families, bringing equality to Scotland’s children by helping them towards the best possible start in life.
“With full powers over social security, Scotland can be the best place for a child to grow up.”
Anyone who wants to apply for a grant or to find out if you’re eligible can visitwww.mygov.scot/benefits/best-start
Notes to Editors:
More information on the Best Start Grant can be found at this link: