A SCOTTISH anti-poverty charity has said it will push for a further increase to the Scottish Child Payment in 2023. 

In November, the Scottish Government increased the payment - which sees a weekly payment per child given to eligible families and carers - from £10 to £25. 

It was also extended to include eligible children up to the age of 16 instead of just those under 6, with more than 300,000 kids expected to benefit from the expanded legislation on top of the 104,000 already receiving the payment. 

However, Poverty Alliance director Peter Kelly has said that the charity "will continue to call for further increases in the Scottish Child Payment" in 2023. 

In his New Year's message Kelly also called for wellbeing to be put at the centre of Scotland's strategy for tackling poverty.  

"In 2023 we can take the values of compassion and justice shown by people who fight the effects of poverty and use them to make changes that will help build an economy that works for everyone.

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"As the cost of living crisis continues next year, we also need action to keep low-income households afloat.

"We will continue to call for further increases in the Scottish Child Payment, the expansion of free childcare to 50 hours a week, and free bus travel to people on benefits and to everyone under the age of 25.

"We need to put more money into the local services that we all rely on, but which are a lifeline for people on low incomes.

“All of these things will help to lift people out of poverty and create a Scotland that has wellbeing at its centre."

He also called for the Scottish Government to make progress on its commitment to instituting a minimum income guarantee, an assurance that no one in Scotland will fall below a set income level that would allow them to live a dignified life. 

In August 2022, a poll found that 4 out of 5 Scots would support a minimum income guarantee, which according to the Scottish Government, would alleviate poverty through "employment, targeted welfare payments and other types of support provided or subsidised by the state." 

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Kelly added: "We can make progress on the Scottish Government’s commitment to a minimum income guarantee – an assurance that no one will fall below a set income level that would allow them to live a dignified life.

“A social guarantee is about sharing responsibility for making sure everyone has access to life’s essentials. This would ensure everyone has access to everyday necessities like a warm home, nourishing food, education, healthcare, water and electricity, transport, access to the internet, and a safe environment.

“These are big changes, and they cannot happen overnight, but we can begin to take tangible steps towards them now."