An estimated 12,300 children from 7,400 families across Falkirk district are expected to benefit from the Scottish Child Payment, it has been revealed.

The Scottish Government’s groundbreaking anti-poverty measure will be introduced for children under six by early 2021, before being rolled out to all eligible families with children under 16 by the end of 2022.

The new welfare payment will be worth £10 a week per child to low-income families. It is central to the SNP’s ambitions to tackle child poverty and has been described as a “game-changer” by anti-poverty campaigners.

The Scottish Government has now published estimates of how many children and families in each local authority are set to benefit, based on the number of Tax Credit recipients prior to the rollout of Universal Credit.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “The Scottish Child Payment is an important new benefit that will directly tackle child poverty.

“Once fully rolled out, it will benefit more than a third of all children in Scotland and help thousands of low-income families in Falkirk district to make ends meet.

“Tory austerity and welfare cuts are causing misery for many families – but the Scottish Government is determined to use its limited welfare powers to reverse the rise in child poverty.”

When the Scottish Child Payment was announced in June, John Dickie, director of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, said it would be “an absolute game-changer in the fight to end child poverty”.

He added: “£10 a week for each child will make a real difference to families struggling to put food on the table, heat their homes and pay for the ordinary school trips, sport and other activities that are fundamental to a decent childhood.”