All children registered to receive free school meals on the basis of family low income are eligible to receive additional financial support this winter. The Bridging Payment will be made automatically to those families.
Bridging Payments were introduced in 2021 ahead of the extension of the Scottish Child Payment to 6-15 year olds. The final quarterly Bridging Payment, due in December, will now be doubled to £260, meaning families will receive up to £650 per eligible child this year.
This is in addition to the Scottish Child Payment which will be extended to all eligible under-16s from 14 November and will rise to £25 per child per week on the same date – a 150% increase in the benefit within eight months.
The Scottish Government will make available the additional funds to double the December payment to local authorities. Delivery is subject to approval by COSLA (the organisation which represents Scotland’s councils) Leaders.
Total Scottish Government funding for the Bridging Payments will increase to an estimated £169 million across 2021 and 2022.
In making the announcement, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon said:
“As part of our help to the poorest families over last year and this, ahead of rolling out the Scottish Child Payment to under 16s, we have made quarterly bridging payments of £130 to children and young people in receipt of free school meals.
“I am delighted that the Scottish Government will double the December Payment from £130 to £260.
“That will help put food on the Christmas table for families of 145,000 children and young people. I don’t pretend it will make all of their worries go away – no government with our limited powers can ever do that. But I hope this investment of almost £20 million will bring a bit of Christmas cheer to those who need it most.”
Click on this link for information and support in Scotland for everyone: Help during the cost of living crisis
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