THE SCOTTISH Child Payment has "helped to reduce financial pressure on
households," according to an assessment of the new benefit. 

The interim report, compiled by the Scottish Government with Ipsos, found that the money helped children "participate in social and educational opportunities" and allowed families to buy "essential items like food and nappies, and treat items such as small toys or ice cream."

The research was carried out between November 2020 and March 2022 when the payment was a weekly sum of £10 per child aged under 6, paid every four weeks.

The payment doubled to £20 per week in April 2022 and will further increase to £25 by the end of 2022 – by which time the benefit will also be rolled-out to all eligible children under the age of 16.

The report said the benefit said people who relied on the money for essential household items such as food or bills "feel its impact keenly, and say they depend on the money to avoid getting into debt."

Others said that without the money they would "rely on food parcels or would sometimes have skipped meals to ensure their child(ren) could eat."

Those who do not rely on the money for essentials said it helped them "fund trips or treats their children would otherwise miss out on."

The payment has, they said, "helped to reduce their financial worries around everyday budgeting, and that this had a positive impact on their own mental health."

The child payment, the report added, has also improved the health and wellbeing of families in receipt of it, including by helping them feel “less guilt or embarrassment at not being able to afford things for their children”.


Children have also been able to eat more and better food as a result of the payment, or able to take part in activities such as swimming or gymnastics to improve their overall health and wellbeing, the report said.

There was some criticism over the take-up of the benefit, which currently sits at 77 per cent. 

While this means that a majority of those eligible are claiming, one in four are not, "suggesting further steps may still be needed to maximise take-up of the benefit."

While people are generally "clear about the purpose of Scottish Child Payment and how it is intended to work" there is also some confusion over eligibility. 

Charities told the researchers that some parents were unaware that under the current rules the payment stopped when their child turned six. 

The evaluation did also point to rising application processing times, and a feeling among a minority of applicants that Social Security Scotland "could have kept them better informed about the progress of their applications."

Commenting, the SNP MSP Elena Whitham said: "It is incredibly encouraging to see more evidence that the SNP's Scottish Child Payment is making a positive difference to families and children across Scotland - and that positive impact it is having will only grow when the Scottish Government increases the payment to £25 per week and is extended to under 16 year olds.

"The Scottish Child Payment was always going to play a substantial role in our fight to end child poverty but, at a time when the pressures on households budgets is increasing dramatically, it is undeniably providing a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable households in our communities."