January 25, 2018

Around 8,000 families in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond could see their incomes boosted by Labour’s plan to top up Child Benefit by £240 per year.

The campaign took a step forward this week when Labour lodged amendments in the Scottish Parliament to the Social Security Bill. Under Scotland’s new social security powers, Scottish Ministers can top up reserved social security payments.

Figures highlighted by local MSP Jackie Baillie show that there are more than 13,000 children in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond who would eligible for the top up.

Increasing Child Benefit is supported by a coalition of groups across civic Scotland, including the churches and children’s charities. The move would benefit around half a million Scottish families and almost 1 million children.

Jackie said:“It’s time to use the new Scottish parliament powers to create a fairer Scotland and put money back into the pockets of working class families.

“Children in Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire have faced a double whammy of Tory austerity from Westminster and cuts being passed on to local schools from the SNP in Edinburgh.

“Labour’s plan to top up child benefit would help 8000 families in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh and lift children out of poverty.

“This is a radical way to use the new powers of the Scottish Parliament to deliver a real difference to families across Scotland.”

We do not have a response to this from the SNP locally since they have ignored requests from The Democrat to co-operate with this website by supplying the media releases from their council group or from their MP Martin Docherty-Hughes.

In Dumbarton constituency, which includes Helensburgh, 13,125 children qualify for Child Benefit;  7945 families are in receipt of Child Benefit.

Under Labour’s plan, Child Benefit would increase as follows:

Year    Annual Increase       Weekly Increase      Monthly Increase

2018/19          £ 160.00       £      3.08      £    13.33

2019/20          £ 200.00       £      3.85      £    16.67

2020/21          £ 240.00       £      4.62      £    20.00

The full text of the amendment is below.  Give Me 5 amendment (drawing on provisions of 1987 Regulations)

After section 46, insert— Child benefit supplement

(1)   Subject to the provisions of regulation 23 of the 1987 Regulations, the Scottish Ministers must make a payment (a “child benefit supplement”) of—

(a)   £5 to a qualifying individual where the qualifying individual has elected to receive child benefit payment weekly in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 8 of the 1987 Regulations,

(b)   £20 to a qualifying individual where the qualifying individual receives child benefit payment in the last week of each successive period of four weeks of the period of entitlement (as set out in Regulation 23(1)(b) of the 1987 Regulations).

(2)   A payment under subsection (1) must be made to the qualifying individual when that individual receives child benefit.

(3)   A qualifying individual is an individual who, on the qualifying date, was—

(a)   in receipt of child benefit under section 141 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, and

(b)   resident in Scotland.

(4)  The qualifying date is a date determined by the Scottish Ministers falling within the period to which the payment relates.

(5)   The Scottish Ministers may by regulations modify this section so as to modify—

(a)   the amounts to be paid to qualifying individuals under subsections (1)(a) and (b),

(b)   who is a qualifying individual for the purposes of this section.

(6)   For the purposes of this section, “the 1987 Regulations” means the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1987.

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