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Almost 400 families across the Western Isles will benefit from the doubling of the Scottish Child Payment, said SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, as he welcomed the First Minister’s announcement that the Scottish Child Payment will be doubled from April 2022.

The announcement will see at least 385 eligible families across the Western Isles receiving £20 per week per child from spring next year, with more than 106,000 children across Scotland immediately benefitting from the increased payment.

Since the launch of the Scottish Government payment on 15 February 2021, £94,110 has been issued in payments to families throughout the Western Isles.

It is now expected that more than 400,000 children could be eligible for the doubled payment by the end 2022, when the benefit, which is unique in the UK, will be extended to children under the age of 16.

Alasdair Allan said: “I am delighted that eligible children across the islands will have their Scottish Child Payment doubled in just four months’ time to £20 per week - four times the amount originally demanded by campaigners.

“The Scottish Government’s national mission to tackle child poverty is absolute, with almost £32 million having been provided to families across Scotland as a whole since February.

“Once again, the tale of two governments is striking. While the SNP are doubling the Scottish Child Payment to lift thousands of children out of poverty, the Tories at Westminster recently cut £20 per week from many of the same families with their refusal to maintain the Universal Credit uplift.

“This highlights the difficulty of a hybrid welfare system. I believe the full powers of an independent Scotland would allow us to build a fairer society in a far more effective way than what we are able to achieve at present.”