A range of social security benefits will rise by six per cent next month in Scotland as a response to the cost of living crisis.
The Job Start Payment, Young Carer Grant, Funeral Support, Best Start Grant and Carer’s Allowance Supplement were due to be uprated by 3.1 per cent for 2022/23.
However, the Scottish Government is now proposing the increases should be almost doubled to 6%.
The Child Winter Heating Assistance, which was due to rise by 5%, will now also rise by 6%.
Social Security Minister Ben 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.”
It comes as finance secretary Kate Forbes earlier said GDP growth of 1.3% in the last three months of 2021 shows the “resilience” of Scotland’s economy.
That was achieved at the same time as the emergence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus forced restrictions on some businesses.
But Forbes warned there are still “challenges” for the economy, linked to the rising cost of living and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
New figures from the Scottish Government show GDP grew more in Scotland than in the UK as a whole over the final quarter of last year.
Across the UK, GDP growth of 1% was recorded in the period October to December – but over the 12 months of 2021 the UK saw economic growth of 7.5%, compared to 6.9% in Scotland.
To sign up to the Daily Record Politics newsletter, click here.