City of Edinburgh Council finance leaders today welcome the announcement that around 8,000 Edinburgh children from low-income families will benefit from a £320 uplift before Christmas.
As part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling child poverty, children that are entitled to free school meals will receive payments of £160 per child in October and December.
This follows three payments that were made late in 2020 and early this year to eligible families by the Council, taking the total to £620 received by each child.
In Edinburgh, these were: a Winter Support Fund payment of £100 per child in December 2020; a Spring Hardship Payment of £100 per child in March 2021; and a Summer Family Pandemic Payment of £100 per child in June 2021. This was issued along with the Summer holiday Free School Meals Payment of £92.50 per child.
This will take the total money distributed to children in low-income families by the end of 2021, over these five payments, to around £4.8 million.
In 2022, the Council also will deliver £520 payments per child in 4 instalments on behalf of the Scottish Government.
As detailed by the Scottish Government, this cash is equivalent to the Scottish Child Payment (SCP), a £10-a-week benefit which provides regular, additional financial support for families in receipt of qualifying benefits to assist with the costs of caring for a child aged under six years old.
Finance Convener Councillor Rob Munn said:
Many families are still feeling the effects of the pandemic and it’s more important than ever that we continue to support those most in need, particularly at a time of year when household bills are increasing. So we welcome this additional money from the Scottish Government, that will be administered through the Council, to give some added relief.
As a Council we are committed to ending poverty and supporting the wellbeing of our residents and through building a better foundation for our young people we hope that we can create a better future for all.
Finance Vice Convener Councillor Joan Griffiths said:
Direct support must go hand in hand with the ongoing financial support to ensure that no child is left behind as a result of these unprecedented times. Our teams from across Children’s Services have worked tirelessly to put in place a series of measures across the city to continue to support and monitor the effects the pandemic is having on our children. Thanks must go to all our hard-working staff and third sector partners who are providing these vital services.