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For a family with two children, the maternity and early years allowance means £1,900-worth of support over the children’s early years, compared with the £500 that is available now. Under the sure start maternity grant, the payment at birth for a first child will increase from £500 to £600 and, reversing the United Kingdom coalition Government’s decision to restrict payments to the first child, we will introduce a £300 payment for second and subsequent children.
However, we also recognise that the disadvantages of poverty affect children not just at birth but at other key stages of their young lives. Therefore, we will make payments of £250 to support families through the transition when children start nursery and again at the start of school.
That is an example of the fairer social security system that we want to achieve in Scotland and of how we are redistributing resources in favour of the most vulnerable members of our society.