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Majority still support £5 child benefit increase

This news post is almost 7 years old

A £5 increase in child benefit would ease burden on struggling families

A poll carried out for the Poverty Alliance found that almost 65% of people in Scotland support topping up child benefit by £5 per week.

People were asked if they would support the Scottish Government topping up child benefit at a cost of approximately £250 million to lift 30,000 children out of poverty.

In total 36% of people said they would strongly support this, and a further 29% said they somewhat support this proposal. Only 15% opposed it, and of these only 6% were strongly opposed to the suggestion.

A total of 1,037 people were asked.

The poll results come as Stage 2 of the child poverty bill is set to be introduced.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “It is clear that there is a public appetite in Scotland for topping up child benefit and lifting children out of poverty.

“We have spoken with families across Scotland about what difference this could make to them, and it was clear that for many families this would mean being able to buy better food or help them afford school supplies.

“All the predictions are that child poverty is going to increase over the next few years. Now is the time to act to make sure that families in Scotland do not face even greater pressure than they already do now.

“If we are serious about eradicating child poverty in Scotland by 2030, then this is one of the necessary steps to achieving this.

“Tackling poverty is a matter of political will so let’s use the levers at our disposal in Scotland”.

Emma Trottier, policy manager at Engender, added: “The UK government’s so-called welfare reform agenda has been profoundly harmful to women and women's equality. The measures that have been implemented in the name of austerity disproportionately impoverish women and their families, in particular lone mothers.

“Topping up child benefit by £5 per week would help alleviate suffering, giving women and their families that extra bit of help at a time when it is most needed.”