POVERTY experts have claimed that the Scottish child payment is “significantly reducing child poverty”.

This comes as Professor Danny Dorling, of Oxford University, said that the Scottish child payment may have caused the largest fall in child poverty anywhere in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The Scottish Child Payment was introduced in 2021 and provides families with £25 a week per eligible child.

More than 316,000 children and young people across Scotland are in receipt of the payment, with the total value of payments reaching more than £248.6 million since it was first launched.

Experts gave evidence regarding the impact of the payment to the Scottish Parliament’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee.

Bill Scott, chair of the Poverty and Inequality Commission, said that the Scottish child payment “has” and “will continue to make a significant difference”.

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Chris Birt, associate director for Scotland at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said that the payment is “significantly reducing child poverty”.

He continued: “Some people will give you various different numbers, but it is probably [reducing child poverty by] 4% or 5% at the moment.

“It will significantly reduce child poverty – that is a really good thing.”

Poverty expert Professor Dorling spoke to The National previously about the impact of the Scottish Child Payment.

He said: “Two out of every seven children in Scotland, their families will get it and that has an effect on changing the inequality level in Scotland, which I don’t see in any country for which there has been data for the last 40 years.

“This is £4000 by this Christmas, to a family with three children claiming any form of benefit.

“The key thing is it’s not tapered, you don’t lose it, other than if it’s reduced because you’re getting it. That’s why it’s such a sudden change.

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“It basically means that no child in Scotland should go cold or hungry by this Christmas.”

SNP MSP Collette Stevenson called the payment “game-changing”, adding that it is one of the most important policies introduced since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament.

She continued: “I am delighted to see the SNP’s game-changing payment benefitting so many children across Scotland at a time when Westminster control is causing significant hardship.

"While the SNP government is boosting incomes to help tackle poverty, with unique and progressive policies like the Scottish Child Payment, Westminster is making people poorer with cuts and economic mismanagement.

"Ultimately, there is only one way we can escape the harm of Westminster control and build a fairer, greener, wealthier Scotland – and that is by becoming an independent country.”