Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan is urging eligible families in the Western Isles to apply for this year’s Best Start Grant School Age Payment, as the fund opened for applications this week.

The payment, which is only available in Scotland, is open to families who get tax credits or certain other benefits and have a child who was born between 1st March 2016 and 28th February 2017.

It is part of five family payments delivered by Social Security Scotland that also include: Best Start Foods, Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment and Scottish Child Payment.

Best Start Foods payments are set to increase to £4.50 per week on 1st August to support low income families to buy healthy food for children under the age of three.

Alasdair Allan MSP commented:

“The SNP in government is working to ensure that every child has the best start in life and these payments, which have been described as ‘game-changing’, form part of that effort to build a fairer, more equal Scotland.

“As part of that work the Scottish Government is set to increase Best Start Foods payments within its first 100 days in government. The Scottish Government is also committed to doubling the Scottish Child Payment to £20 a week as soon as practicable.

“The Best Start payments will help ensure children in the islands and across Scotland have the best start in life, with around £5,000 of support being provided by the time a child turns six.

“I would urge all families who are eligible to apply to do so as soon as possible.”

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