The Child Poverty Action Group has said that a £5-a-week top-up to child benefit would reduce child poverty by 14 per cent, lifting 30,000 children out of poverty.Alison Johnstone MSP
Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, used today's meeting of Holyrood's Social Security Committee to make the case for using new devolved powers to top-up Child Benefit to cut poverty.
The Committee heard from Social Security minister Jeane Freeman, who under questioning from Alison Johnstone revealed that such top-ups would be considered, both as part of the Government's consultation on social security and its proposed Child Poverty Bill.
Alison Johnstone MSP said:
"The power to top-up benefits doesn't feature prominently in the Scottish Government's consultation on social security, which is surprising given that financial support can make a huge difference to people's lives. The Child Poverty Action Group has said that a £5-a-week top-up to child benefit would reduce child poverty by 14 per cent, lifting 30,000 children out of poverty.
"The Westminster Government's policies are set to drive child poverty even higher, so it's essential we look at all the options. I'm pleased that the minister indicated top-ups will be considered, and I will continue to press the case for bold action so we make a real difference to children's lives."