Fact check: Scottish child payment projected to keep 60,000 children out of poverty

Various claims, including one by a member of the Scottish parliament and one by SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn during the ITV Leaders’ Debate, suggest the Scottish Child Payment has kept 100,000 children out of poverty in the country, while SNP leader John Swinney credited “the measures we’re taking to tackle child poverty”, during the BBC’s Question Time Leaders’ Special on June 20 and made a similar claim at the party’s manifesto launch.

Evaluation

This figure is a projection from the Scottish Government on the impact of various measures to tackle child poverty. The Scottish Child Payment itself is estimated to keep 60,000 children out of poverty.

The facts

The Scottish Child Payment is a benefit which parents can claim for a child under 16 years old if the parents are already receiving other payments from the state. It currently stands at £26.70 a week per child.

It was introduced in February 2021 for children under six years old, and expanded in late 2022.

An impact assessment on measures to tackle child poverty, released in February, estimates that Scottish Government policies will “keep 100,000 children out of relative poverty” in the 2024-25 financial year.

It adds that: “In 2024-25, the Scottish Child Payment alone is projected to impact the relative child poverty rate by 6 percentage points, meaning it will keep 60,000 children out of relative poverty in that year.”

The government’s estimates suggest 10,000 children will be helped by changes made to Universal Credit, with a further 30,000 helped by an essentials guarantee.

This is supported by a freedom of information request made to the government earlier this year. This states that the policy is estimated to “keep 60,000 children out of relative poverty in Scotland and Scottish Government policies overall will keep 100,000 children out of relative poverty”.

Links

Claim on X (archived)

Clip from Scottish leader’s debate on X (archived post and video)

Transcript of SNP manifesto launch speech (archived)

Scottish Child Payment details (archived)

Child poverty policies impact assessment: Summary (archived)

Child poverty policies impact assessment: Results (archived)

Freedom of information request (archived)

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Election Check 24