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A new payment to help cover the costs of having children has been introduced in Scotland.Families on low incomes can now apply for the Best Start Grant, with applications opening on Monday.It replaces the Sure Start Maternity Grant, which made a one-off payment of £500.The grant will mean that eligible…
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has been urged to help hard-up families by increasing child benefit payments by £5 a week as part of his budget.Children’s charities, academics, trade unions and religious leaders are among those who have banded together to make the plea ahead of Mr Mackay (pictured) setting out…
The "toxic" Tory Government has been blamed by the SNP for stirring up anti-immigrant feeling in working-class people through a lack of public investment.The party's justice and home affairs spokeswoman Joanna Cherry (pictured) said the Conservative administration had "created a great deal of poverty" through its policies.She said: "I notice…
Thousands of vulnerable young people will be homeless or at risk of homelessness in the weeks leading up to Christmas, a charity has said.Centrepoint said 18,000 young people aged 16-25 in the UK are currently or under threat of sleeping rough, and warned that homelessness is not always visible.The charity…
Members of the public will be able to use their contactless payment cards to donate £3 to help tackle the "shameful" fact that almost 8,000 people are sleeping rough on London's streets this winter, the city's mayor said.More than 90 contactless points will be placed in cafes, cinemas, bars and…
Four women bringing a High Court challenge over the Government's Universal Credit scheme say they are struggling financially because of the way the system operates.The women, who are all working single mothers, argue a "fundamental problem" with the controversial welfare scheme means their monthly payments vary "enormously" and they end…
The charity which runs hundreds of foodbanks is expecting December to be its busiest month ever.The Trussell Trust said its network of over 400 foodbanks provided almost 160,000 three-day emergency food supplies in December last year, a 49% increase for the monthly average for the 2017/18 financial year.The figure was…
Cash transfers should be given to Scotland’s poorest families to help them cope during the school holidays, a poverty commission has recommended.A report from the Poverty and Inequality Commission highlighted low income families face a number of pressures during holiday periods, ranging from food insecurity to a lack of opportunities…
A "perfect storm" of stagnating wages and benefits cuts has led to the gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest in the England widening, according to new research.A new study, published on Thursday evening, also found that life expectancy for the country's poorest women has fallen by three…
People lost their home every 18 minutes in Scotland last year, according to a new study.Figures published by Shelter Scotland indicate 43,000 people, including children, became homeless in 2017.The analysis follows a report by Shelter Scotland that homelessness applications rose in the country for the first time in nine years…
Fresh concerns about the roll-out of controversial Universal Credit (UC) welfare reforms have been voiced by MPs.The Commons Work and Pensions Committee said readiness tests must be set before the next pilot phase of the "managed migration" of transferring existing benefits claimants onto UC begins.The report said that "major areas…
Families on low incomes can apply for a new pregnancy and baby grant from December 10, the Scottish Government has announced.The first payments for the new Best Start Grant will be made before Christmas and eligible applicants will be given £600 to help with their first child.It is £100 more…
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