THE Best Start grant is playing an important role in giving children in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area a good start to their lives.

Cowdenbeath MSP, Annabelle Ewing, has welcomed the news that 5,815 Fife families in total have benefitted from new Welfare payments introduced by the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government opened the Best Start Grant for applications in December 2018. The payment provides parents or carers who get certain benefits or tax credits, with financial support during the key early years of a child's life.

In the first year of their introduction, payments worth £3,700,020 have been made to Fife families, with a significant sum coming to the communities of this area.

The Best Start Grant provides payments to eligible families at the birth of children, at nursery age, and at school age.

Commenting, Ms Ewing said: “The SNP are determined to use our powers to build a social security system built on dignity and respect.

“The Best Start Grant provides crucial financial support to families at key stages of their children’s lives, and I’m delighted that more than five thousand families in Fife have already benefitted from payment approaching four million pounds.

“This is just one of the ways the Government are working to tackle child poverty – with the first payments of our innovative new Scottish Child Payment set to be made this year".

The MSP said that the Scottish Government were manoeuvering to try and off-set problems with change in the Westminster Government Welfare system: “Sadly, the need to mitigate Tory cuts like the Bedroom Tax leaves us working with one hand tied behind our back.

“It’s time for Scotland to have full control of all social security powers so that we can build a fairer country.”