More help for more families

Blue wellies being nibbled by a lamb
Susan Thomson

An estimated 20,000 additional people will become eligible for additional help to buy healthy foods when income thresholds are removed for Best Start Foods payments.

The Scottish Government benefit provides help to pregnant women or their partners as well as families with children aged up to three years old, so they can buy healthy food, milk or baby formula.

It is currently paid to people who receive qualifying benefits, so long as their incomes are not above set thresholds. The Scottish Government will introduce regulations that remove those thresholds increasing eligibility for Best Start Foods to around an additional 20,000 people from February 2024.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Tackling poverty and protecting people from harm is one of the Scottish Government’s three critical missions. Rising food prices disproportionately hurt those on the lowest incomes, so removing the threshold for qualifying benefits means around 20,000 people will now get vital help to buy healthy foods.

“Best Start Foods is one of our five family payments, including the Scottish Child Payment, which together could be worth more than £10,000 by the time a first child turns six and more than £20,000 by the time an eligible child is 16.

“As set out in our tackling child poverty plan, we will use all the resources available to provide immediate support to families, while seeking more powers to enable us to truly tackle poverty.”


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