With applications now open for this year’s Best Start Grant School Age Payment, Mr Jim Fairlie MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Perthshire South & Kinross-shire constituency, is urging eligible families in his constituency to apply.

Jim explained that the payment, which is only available in Scotland, is open to families who get tax credits or certain other benefits and have a child who was born between 1st March 2016 and 28th February 2017, saying:

“The Best Start School Age Payment is one of five family payments being delivered by Social Security Scotland as the Scottish Government works to ensure that every child in Scotland has the best start in life. The Best Start payments – Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment and the Best Start Grant School Age Payment – provide important assistance to families at particular landmark moments. And, in conjunction with Best Start Foods and the Scottish Child Payment, they represent a level of support – at current rates, worth over £5,000 by the time a child reaches the age of six. This forms an important part of our effort to build a fairer, more equal Scotland and has been described as game-changing.”

 “But we are not stopping there – Best Start Foods payments are set to increase to £4.50 per week on 1st August to support low income families to buy healthy food for children under the age of three and the SNP has committed to doubling the Scottish Child Payment to £20 a week. I want to ensure that no-one who is eligible in Perthshire South & Kinross-shire misses out on this support so, with applications opening today, I am urging anyone on tax credits or benefits to apply as soon as possible.”

 “Applying for the Best Start School Age Payment is straightforward, just go online or make an appointment.  Don’t miss out, apply now.”

Eligible families can apply by visiting mygov.scot/beststart or calling 0800 182 2222