Statement: Commissioner signs joint letter demanding Scottish Government doubles child bridging payments

Joint calls for the Scottish Government to double child bridging payments

Commissioner Bruce Adamson, alongside a broad range of organisations, community groups, academics, trade unions and faith groups, has written to the Scottish Government, requesting that child bridging payments are doubled. This vital action is urgently needed to mitigate the damaging impact the cost of living crisis is having on children’s standards of living.

Monday 15th August 2022
Dear First Minister,
Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments

We are writing as a broad range of organisations, community groups, academics, trade unions and faith groups, all working with and for families struggling on low incomes across Scotland. Your government has been doing the right thing by investing in financial support for families, not least through the Scottish child payment. This is already making a big difference, as the recent initial evaluation on its impact lays out, and which the families we talk to make clear. The doubling of the payment since April has been especially timely in providing additional support to families with children under six at a time of soaring food and energy prices.

However, as you know, families with older children are yet to benefit. The roll out of the payment to eligible over fives and the further increase to £25 a week are not due until the end of the year. Bridging payments, originally introduced to provide “equivalent” support to the child payment for at least some of those older children, have not been doubled. At a time when further massive increases to household bills are looming, this is leaving a significant gap in the cash support available to families across Scotland.

We are therefore writing to urge your government to help bridge that gap and, at the very least, double the October and Christmas bridging payments from £130 to £260. This would be one straightforward and effective way of getting more cash support to many of the households struggling most in the face of the cost of living crisis. It would help keep families afloat until the
child payment itself is increased and fully rolled out.

The families we work with are facing increasing hardship as the cost of energy and food spirals ever higher. Parents tell us they are going without food to feed their children, of feeling ashamed at the basics their children are going without, and of dreading the coming winter bills. A recent Scotpulse survey found that over half of adults with children felt their mental health was being negatively impacted by the cost of living crisis, with women particularly affected. Many of our organisations are, often with support from your government, doing everything we can to provide further assistance to those facing the greatest disadvantage. However charity hardship support cannot ever be a replacement for direct cash payments to low income families, and it should not be the role of charities to plug the financial support gap.

We will continue to urge the UK government to live up to its responsibility to provide a further package of support in response to the ongoing and worsening hardship that families are facing. In the meantime we urge you and your government to continue to do the right thing, prioritise support for children and commit to doubling the bridging payments as part of wider action to support households through the cost of living crisis. We know and understand the pressure the Scottish budget is under but the budgets of our lowest-income families are under even greater pressure.

Acting to provide further cash support to families would help prevent further long-term damage to individual families and children, and would also support Scotland’s much welcomed child poverty ambitions. We urge you to take this action.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Sally Ann Kelly, Chief Executive, Aberlour Child Care Trust
Paul Carberry, Director for Scotland, Action for Children
Martin Crewe, Director, Barnardo’s Scotland
Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive, Children 1st
Dr Judith Turbyne, Chief Executive, Children in Scotland
Anna Ritchie Allan, Executive Director, Close the Gap
John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland
Christine Carlin, Director Scotland, Home-Start UK
Satwat Rehman, Director, One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS)
Jamie Livingston, Head of Oxfam Scotland
Clare Simpson, Manager, Parenting Across Scotland
Peter Kelly, Director, Poverty Alliance
Claire Telfer, Head of Scotland, Save the Children
Polly Jones, Head of Scotland, The Trussell Trust
Karen Birch, Chief Officer, Abundant Borders
Drew McKinney, Manager, Agape wellbeing
Sara Redmond, Chief Officer of Development, The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the
Shulamite Ezechi, Director, ANYiSO
Shelley Hague, Chairperson, Arbroath FC Community Trust
Suzanne Slavin, Chief Executive Officer, Ayr Housing Aid Centre SCIO
Professor Mike Danson, Chair, Basic Income Network Scotland
Frank Mosson, Bureau Manager, Bridgeton Citizens Advice Bureau
Robert McGeachy, Policy and Engagement Manager, Camphill Scotland
Ruth MacLennan, CEO, Care for Carers
Jennifer Wallace, Director, Carnegie UK
Angus McIntosh, Principal Solicitor, Castlemilk Law and Money Advice Centre
Claire Burns, Director, CELCIS
Teresa Sutherland, Interim-CEO, CHAI Edinburgh
Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland
Rami Okasha, Chief Executive, Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS)
Dr. Colin Morrison, Co-Director, Children’s Parliament
Emma Jackson, National Director Scotland, Christians Against Poverty
Mark Kennedy, Chief Executive, Circle
Derek Mitchell, CEO, Citizens Advice Scotland
Karl Kaliski, Sensei, Cloud Water Zen Centre
Claire Cairns, Director, The Coalition of Carers in Scotland
Fiona Rae, Chief Executive, Community Food Initiatives North East
John Halliday, Executive Director, Community Renewal Trust
Marie Ward, Chief Executive, Cranhill Development Trust
Ewan Aitken, Chief Executive, CYRENIANS
Kevin Young, Project Manager, DadsWork
Dr Carey Lunan, Chair of the Deep End Project in Scotland
Sharon Colvin, CEO, Drumchapel Community Centre
Jane Brumpton, Chief Executive, Early Years Scotland
Roslyn Neely, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Childrens Hospital Charity
Brenda Black, CEO, Edinburgh Community Food
Bethany Biggar, Director, Edinburgh Food Project
Betty Stone, Convenor, Edinburgh Tenants Federation
Andrea Bradley, General Secretary, Educational Institute of Scotland
Catherine Murphy, Executive Director, Engender
Bridie Ashrowan, Chief Executive, EVOC (Edinburgh Voluntary Organisation’s Council)
Jacky Close, Director, Faith in Community Dundee
Rev Karen Hendry, Acting Convener, Faith Impact Forum, Church of Scotland
Prof Nancy Loucks OBE, Chief Executive, Families Outside
Jimmy Wilson, CEO, FARE
Terry McTernan, Chairperson, Ferguslie Community Council & Darkwood Crew
John McIntyre, Principle Trustee, Ferguslie Community Development Trust
Laura Falconer, Chief Executive, Forces Children Scotland
David Walsh, Public Health Programme Manager, Glasgow Centre for Population Health
Ian Bruce, Chief Executive, Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector
Revd. Gary Noonan, Minister, Houston and Killellan Kirk
Martin Dorchester, CEO, Includem
Sabine Goodwin, Coordinator, Independent Food Aid Network
Innes Isobel McMinn, Manager, Independent Living Support
Moira Tasker, Chief Executive, Inclusion Scotland
Urzula Glienecke, Member, Iona Community
Philip Whyte, Director, IPPR Scotland
Chris Birt, Associate Director for Scotland, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Jill Kent, Chair of Justice & Peace Scotland
Aileen Ogilvie, Manager, Lairg & District Learning Centre.
Niki Powers, Managing Director, Let’s Talk (Young People) CIC
Dr Lindsey MacDonald, Chief Executive, Magic Breakfast
Liane Coia, Operations Manager, Maryhill Integration Network
Mairi McCallum, Project Manager, Moray Food Plus
Karen McCurry, Centre Manager, Multiple Sclerosis Centre, Mid Argyll
Craig Samuel, Scotland Representative, NAWRA
Pete Ritchie, Executive Director, Nourish Scotland
Jenny Miller, Chief Executive, PAMIS
Marguerite Hunter Blair, Chief Executive, Play Scotland
Narek Bido, Chief Executive, Recovery Scotland
Elizabeth Allen, Clerk, General Meeting for Scotland of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Shumela Ahmed, Managing Director, Resilience Learning Partnership
Dr Mairi Stark, Officer for Scotland, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)
Richard Gass, Chair, Rights Advice Scotland
Alison Watson, Director, Shelter Scotland
Sharon Bell, Head of StepChange Scotland
Alison Bavidge, National Director, Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW)
Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive, Scottish Childminding Association
Justina Murray, CEO, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs
Daniela Rondina, Development Officer, Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA)
Irene Audain MBE, Chief Executive, Scottish Out of School Care Network
Professor Stephen Sinclair, Co-Director, Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit
Sara Cowan, Coordinator, Scottish Women’s Budget Group
Paul Traynor, Head of External Affairs, Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance
Carolyn Lochhead, Director of Public Affairs, SFHA
Charandeep Singh BEM, Director, Sikhs in Scotland
Trishna Singh OBE, Director, Sikh Sanjog and Punjabi Junction Social Enterprise Project
Ben Farrugia, Director of Social Work Scotland
Jenny Cornfield, Lead, Soul Food Edinburgh
Susan Lyons, Manager, Spirit Advocacy
Professor John McKendrick, SPIRU, Glasgow Caledonian University
Rhona Matheson, Chief Executive, Starcatchers
Sharon McAulay, Chief Executive, STAR Project
Rozanne Foyer, General Secretary, STUC
Brian MacDonald, Chair, SURF – Scotland’s Regeneration Forum
Linda Tuthill, CEO, The Action Group
Andrew Stevenson, Project Manager, The Destiny Project SCIO
Fiona Partington, Joint Acting Chief Executive Officer, The Health Agency
Angela Moohan, CEO, The Larder
Elaine Downie, Co-ordinator, The Poverty Truth Community
Ailsa MacKenzie, Chief Officer, The Pyramid
Jim McCormick, Chief Executive, The Robertson Trust
Agnes Tolmie, Chair, The Scottish Women’s Convention
Danny Collins, National President, The Society of St Vincent de Paul Scotland
Juliet Harris, Director, Together Scotland
Tracey Dalling, Regional Secretary UNISON Scotland
Paul Stuart, Branch Secretary, UNISON Housing & Care Scotland Branch
Pat Rafferty, Scottish Secretary, Unite the Union
Neil Findlay, Director, Unity Consulting Scotland
James Mitchell, Professor of Public Policy, University of Edinburgh
Adrian Sinfield, Professor Emeritus of Social Policy, University of Edinburgh
Nick Bailey, Professor, University of Glasgow
Annette Hastings, Professor of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow
Prof. Sharon Wright, Professor of Social Policy, University of Glasgow
Tom Heron, Manager, Vennie Youth Club
Jimmy Paul, Director, WEAll
Rob McDowall FRSA, Chair, Welfare Scotland
Carolyn Currie, Chief Executive, Women’s Enterprise Scotland
Hugh Foy, Director, Programmes and Partnerships, Xaverian Missionaries UK Region

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