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Parents welcome improved support

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon sitting with a baby on her knee

Families are now benefitting from the new Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment, which supports low income families.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met some of the first parents and babies to benefit from the payment, which offers low income parents or carers £600 on the birth of their first child and £300 for any subsequent children.

The first payments have now been after last week’s launch, with Social Security Scotland receiving more than 4,000 claims on the first day alone – around the same number of UK Government Sure Start Maternity Grants, which Best Start Grant replaces, in the whole of 2017-18 in Scotland.

The First Minister said:

“The Pregnancy and Baby Payment will help give children the best possible start in life, and demonstrates our commitment to making Scotland the best place for a child to grow up.

“At this time of year we know many families on low incomes feel particularly stretched so I’m pleased we are starting to get this extra money into people’s pockets this week. By expanding the eligibility and making it easier to apply we are delivering substantive improvements on the DWP system. Importantly, we place no cap on the number of children it will support.

“The response we have had with claims is absolutely exceptional. It was lovely to meet parents and children who are benefitting from the grant and find out the difference it can make to families.”

Connie Rumsby, a 25-year-old mother of three from Glasgow whose baby is six months old, said:

“The Best Start Grant will make life a lot easier. My other children are four and five so there are lots of things I will need to buy again. I got the baby box which is great, but having £300 extra to my buy my son something when he’s a wee bit bigger is a real help.”

Caitlin Donachie, a 24-year-old mother of three from Glasgow whose baby is one week old, said:

“Being entitled to this payment, which I wouldn’t have got under the previous system, will make a real difference, especially when I have other children to provide for. It makes life a lot less stressful because I’m not having to worry about money for the new baby’s things as I can use my Pregnancy and Baby Payment to cover that.”

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