6,920 Local Families Could See Child Benefit Increase

1 March 2017

6,920 families in Caithness, Sutherland & Ross could see their incomes boosted by Labour's plan to top up Child Benefit by £240 per year.

Under Labour's plan the new social security powers of the Scottish Parliament could be used to top up Child Benefit and lift around 30,000 children in Scotland out of poverty by 2020.

Figures published by Highlands and Islands Labour MSP David Stewart confirm that there are currently 11,995 children in Caithness, Sutherland & Ross who would benefit from Labour's plan to top up Child Benefit. 

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has backed Labour's support for an increase to Child Benefit and called on other parties in the Scottish Parliament to do the same.

Mr Stewart said: "Labour's plan would see Child Benefit increase by £240 per year by the turn of the decade, increasing by £13 a month next year, before rising to £20 per month in 2020.

"The SNP's Child Poverty Bill – now in the Scottish Parliament – should include Labour's plan to top up Child Benefit for 6,920 families in Caithness, Sutherland & Ross.

"If the Nationalists won’t do it we will seek to amend the law ourselves. I call on MSP Gail Ross to back this plan to lift around 30,000 children out of poverty.

"Labour's plan would mean starting to reverse the fall in the value of Child Benefit that families have seen over the past five years.

"And it would send a strong message, that Scotland will not allow hard working families in Caithness, Sutherland & Ross to bear the brunt of the Tories’ hard Brexit."