Families across Banffshire and Buchan Coast have benefitted from £2.7 million paid through the Scottish Government’s new Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment scheme since it opened for applications.
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.
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.
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, Stewart Stevenson MSP 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 SNP government can provide help at a time when many families across Banffshire and Buchan Coast are seeing UK government social security support drastically reduced, and Universal Credit is causing hardship across Scotland.
“By reversing and mitigating Tory cuts that have been so damaging to families in the North-East, and ensuring that we support those on the lowest incomes, the SNP is building a social security system which provides a safety net for the most vulnerable in society.”