Together joins over 100 organisations and academics calling for an emergency cash boost to prevent child poverty crisis

Date: 28th May 2020
Category: Disability, Basic Health and Welfare

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In an open letter to the First Minister, organisations are calling for a direct financial boost for all families living on low incomes to support them through the coronavirus crisis.

The letter expresses “grave concern” that families across Scotland are struggling to stay afloat through the crisis and Scotland’s progress on tackling child poverty is being put at huge risk. The letter proposes that a payment equivalent to at least £10 per week per child is needed, as families are facing “increased financial stress and associated anxiety, loneliness, and more complex mental health problems.” Additionally, this payment can ease the immense pressure for signatory organisations who operate under charitable hardship funding.  

The letter suggests a range of methods which can be adopted to deliver these payments to families. Options include new or increased Best Start grants, an increased school clothing grant, additional investment in the Scottish Welfare Fund to provide a ‘coronavirus crisis grant,’ topping up UK children’s benefits and the use of local government powers. Signatories also call for additional targeted support could be delivered through increases to discretionary housing payments and Best Start Food payments.

This payment equivalent to at least £10 per week per child can provide “a lifeline now to help them weather the storm.”