Jackie Baillie has once again called on the Scottish Government to implement Scottish Labour’s policy of topping up Child Benefit by £5 per week in a bid to lift families out of poverty. Analysis from the Resolution Foundation found that the real-terms value of Child Benefit has fallen by £210 per year since 2009-10 and is worth no more today than it was in 1999.
One in four children in West Dunbartonshire, and one in five children in Argyll and Bute are currently living in poverty. Scottish Labour’s plan to top up child benefit would deliver an extra £260 per child per year to half a million families in Scotland.
In 2016, the Scottish Parliament was given new powers over social security, and these included being able to change the way some benefits were delivered in Scotland.
“The analysis from the Resolution Foundation reveals the impact that Tory austerity is having on living standards, with Child Benefit worth less today than it was in 2010.
“The Scottish Parliament has been given the power to not only reverse that cut, but to put more money back into the pockets of families across the country. But instead of using those powers, the Scottish Government has handed back control to the U.K. government for at least 10 years. What a wasted opportunity which leaves thousands of children in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute living in poverty.
“It is clear that Scottish Labour’s policy on Child Benefit could have a life-changing impact for families across the country. I am urging the Scottish Government to implement this policy and help lift families out of poverty.”