An MSP has highlighted figures which claim an estimated 800 children across the isles could benefit from a Scottish government anti-poverty payment.
The SNP’s Maree Todd says the “ground breaking” move will directly tackle child poverty in Shetland.
It follows figures released earlier this year which indicate the coronavirus has caused an “alarming” increase in the number of children relying on support from the Lerwick foodbank.
April saw a 400 per cent spike in demand for food parcels for youngsters compared with the same month last year.
The Scottish Child Payment should be worth £10 per child for low-income families by the end of 2022, with introduction for under-6s starting by early 2021.
Latest figures from the Scottish Fiscal Commission estimate that 194,000 children aged under six in Scotland will be eligible for the new Scottish Child Payment – with 800 children and families estimated to benefit in the isles.
The brand new benefit is said to have been described as a “game changer” and a “lifeline” by anti-poverty campaigners, and is central to the SNP’s ambitions to tackle child poverty.
Ms Todd said: “The Scottish Child Payment is an ambitious and ground-breaking new benefit which will directly tackle child poverty across the country.
“This support is needed more than ever, and when this additional £10 per week per child becomes available in February, it will be a lifeline for many such families in Shetland.
“It will help reduce financial pressures and demonstrates the potential of social security to make a positive difference and reflect our society’s shared values of compassion and fairness.
“Tory cuts are driving too many families in Shetland into poverty – but the SNP is determined to use every power at our disposal to help families make ends meet.”