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16-24 year olds Job Start Payment

Eligible 16-24 year olds who are already receiving certain other benefits or tax credits are being encouraged to apply for Job Start Payment - a one-off payment worth £267.65, or £428.25 if the applicant has children.

Job Start Payment helps young people with the costs of starting a job after a period of being unemployed. The payment can help with the costs of travel, work clothes or childcare.

Job Start Payment is available to eligible young people who have been offered a job after being out of work for at least six months to the day they were offered the job and are in receipt of a qualifying benefit. Care leavers can apply for a further year, up to the day before their 26th birthday, and only need to be out of work and in receipt of a qualifying benefit on the day of their job offer.

Young people can find pre-application advice for Job Start Payment, which includes eligibility and award amounts, and apply at the mygov.scot website.

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Scotland's Global Affairs Framework

Following an inquiry into the remit and reach of Scotland's international affairs, and the new publication of the Scottish Government's Global Affairs Framework, I contributed to a debate on these matters in chamber yesterday (10th May 2022).

You can watch my contribution in full here, where I have urged the Scottish Government to put nuclear disarmament and tackling the demand for prostitution, which fosters human trafficking, at the top of its international agenda. These are both policy commitments from the SNP to its voters in the 2021 Manifesto.

 Watch the debate in full here: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/constitution-europe-external-affairs-and-culture-committee-debate-inquiry-into-the-scottish-governments-international-work-may-10-2022 

Safeguarding refugees in Scotland

From my work as Deputy Convenor of the CPG on Human Trafficking, I understand that people fleeing humanitarian crises and war zone are especially at risk of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. Very sadly this still happens in Scotland- and work is under way in the Scottish Government to tackle the demand for prostitution and sexual exploitation that fosters the trafficking of women and children. From tactics of deception and manipulation to outright coercion, trafficking for sexual exploitation involves an exploiter making money from the harm and mass abuse and rape of women and children, in the vast majority of cases. 
 
We need to stop the demand for trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation now, and work towards ensuring that Scotland is a safe place for everyone to live. Support the A Model for Scotland Campaign today so that our laws can change for the better- prosecuting the exploiters- traffickers and pimps or procurers (who are legally termed as sex workers), not the children and women they systematically exploit. 
 
I'm glad the Minister for Refugees is taking this matter seriously and as shown in today's Portfolio Question Time. 
 

Increase in Social Security Benefits

 

Six Scottish social security benefits will be increased by 6% from 1 April.

Social Security Minister Ben Macpherson has announced the rise in support for low income households and carers in light of the increasing cost of living pressures.

Benefits and assistance including Job Start Payment, Young Carer’s Grant, Funeral Support, Best Start Grant and Carer’s Allowance Supplement were due to be uprated by 3.1% for 2022/23. Subject to parliamentary approval, the increases will now be almost doubled to a 6% uprate.

Ministers have already announced that Scottish Child Payment will double from £10 per week to £20 from 1 April, a 100% increase, while Best Start Foods rose from £4.25 to £4.50 a week in August (5.88%). Child Winter Heating Assistance, which was previously set to rise by 5%, will now also rise by 6%.

Mr Macpherson said:

“We are acting urgently in response to growing pressures on the costs of living, which were already rising and have now increased significantly again due to the illegal war in Ukraine.

“We will provide additional support as quickly as possible by further increasing several forms of devolved social security benefits and assistance - enhancing our planned 3.1% uprating to a 6% rise - and this will be implemented in just over two weeks’ time.

“The Scottish Government is determined to use the powers we have to move at pace to help those who need assistance most in these challenging times. The benefits we are uprating will support those on low incomes, particularly families and unpaid carers.”

Undermining Human Trafficking: banning the purchase of sex, pornography & online pimping websites

Yesterday, I asked the Minister for Community Safety about her response to a new report which outlines the impact technology has in faciliating the abhorrent crime of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, which has led to the abuse and hurt of so many women and children. Here in Scotland we have the ability to undermind and harm this industry that profits on the misery of those who are vulnerable. 

Join the campaign by supporting A Model for Scotland. https://www.amodelforscotland.org/take-action 

 

Bill Kidd MSP

Welcome

Bill is MSP for Glasgow Anniesland. 

His major political interests are the development of policies to eradicate poverty, job creation, housing policy and an end to the nuclear power and weapons programmes of successive British Governments.

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