Scotland's Best Start Grant pays out £2.7m

By agency reporter
February 11, 2019

The new Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment has paid out more money to Scottish families in just under two months of operation than the DWP benefit it replaced paid out in a year.

Since opening for applications on Monday 10 December 2018, 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.

In the entire 2017/18 financial year, the UK Government paid out a total of £2 million of Sure Start Maternity Grant Payments in Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: “The response we have had to the new Best Start Grant is absolutely exceptional and I am delighted that we have now issued over £2.7 million of payments since the benefit opened in December – more in just two months than the DWP paid over a year. 

“This substantial increase in support for expectant families and new babies shows what can be achieved if we take a different approach to social security. We have simplified the application process, promoted this new benefit and engaged health and childcare professionals to help us maximise take-up.

“Alongside increasing the financial support for eligible parents, we have removed the UK’s previous one child limit, reaching children who would have received nothing from the Sure Start Maternity Grant. This shows the difference we can make with our new social security powers.

“The Pregnancy and Baby Payment is helping give children the best possible start in life, and demonstrates our commitment to making Scotland the best place for a child to grow up.”

* Scottish Government https://www.gov.scot/

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