The Scottish Government has announced that spending on social security is to increase to more than £5.1 billion per year, through the 2023-24 budget. This will support around a million people, as well as helping to drive progress towards the country’s aim of eradicating child poverty.
The focal point of this investment is the Scottish Child Payment being increased to £25 per child per week. This is an increase of 150% since April 2022, as well as now being available to all eligible under 16s, equalling around 387,000 children.
Alongside the increase to the Scottish Child Payment, all other benefits in Scotland will be uprated by 10.1%. This will cost £428 million, bringing the total amount being spent on social security to more than £770 million over the funding received for social security through the UK Government Block Grant Adjustment.
Shona Robison, Social Justice Secretary, said:
“Through this Budget we are taking bold action to address the deep inequalities in our society – putting more money in people’s pockets today and working to eradicate child poverty in Scotland.
“Despite the challenging financial position and the corrosive effect of UK Government economic mismanagement and soaring inflation on our budget, our child poverty targets remain ambitious. That is why we are choosing to invest significantly more in social security than the funding we receive from Westminster and helping to mitigate the damaging impact of UK Government welfare cuts.
“The many fair and progressive decisions in this Budget – including funding for housing, education and transport – will help to deliver long-term, structural change as we continue to work with local government colleagues and our partners in the third sector to tackle poverty and support all of Scotland’s families to thrive.”
The budget will also include:
- £84 million for Discretionary Housing Payment to mitigate directly the impact of UK Government policies including the bedroom tax and benefit cap.
- £752 million for the affordable housing supply programme to ensure continued delivery of high-quality, affordable homes across Scotland which can contribute to tackling inequality and child poverty.