SNP MSP Michael Russell is encouraging all expectant mothers in Argyll and Bute, whose babies are due on or after 15 August 2017, to register for a baby box at their next midwife appointment.

These boxes, containing various essential items for a child’s first weeks and months, signal the SNP Government’s commitment to ensuring that every child in Scotland, regardless of their circumstances, should get the best start in life.

This comes on top of the SNP Government using new powers to create new Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances, the Best Start Grant, which provides expectant mothers on low incomes with £600 for their first child, £300 for second and subsequent children and a further £250 grant when their child starts nursery, and £250 again when they start school.

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell said:

 “The Scottish Government is proudly gifting a Baby Box to every child in Scotland to help tackle deprivation, improve health and support parents – just one part of our determination to ensure that every child has an equal start in life.

“For mothers in Argyll and Bute looking forward to welcoming a new born into the world on or after 15th August this summer, all they need to do to be gifted a Baby Box is apply through their midwife in advance, supplying their preferred delivery address.

“The Baby Boxes are full of useful items such as books, clothes, blankets, a bath towel, a changing mat, a bib and a thermometer, while also providing a safe space for babies to sleep near their parents, to promote bonding and early attachment, and send a signal that every child, regardless their background, matters.

“And with the new powers coming to Scotland, the SNP Government will also provide targeted support of a significantly higher level than elsewhere in the UK, to help low income families via our new Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances- replacing the UK Sure Start grant with our Best Start Grant.

“The new Best Start Grant will be introduced in 2019.”

 

Michael Russell the SNP MSP for Argyll and Bute has welcomed the announcement of a further £1.75 billion Scottish Government investment in affordable housing across Scotland, which includes £50.576m investment in Argyll and Bute.

Councils and house-builders across Scotland’s 32 local authorities will have the opportunity to plan ahead with grant subsidies guaranteed, for the first time, for the next three years until 2021.

In 2018-19, £532 million will be shared amongst local authorities – rising to £591 million in 2019-20 and £630 million in 2020-21.

Michael Russell MSP for Argyll and Bute said:

“The announcement that Argyll and Bute will receive £50.576 over the next three years provides the certainty that Argyll and Bute and the sector needs to keep progressing and ensure we keep up the momentum to reach the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021.

“Increasing the supply of affordable homes is a key SNP commitment and plays a vital role in helping to tackle poverty and inequality in Argyll and Bute.

“Committing funding until the end of this parliament will help ensure that Scotland leads the way in building homes that are high-quality, efficient and affordable, and will strengthen our house-building sector and the estimated 14,000 jobs that the affordable housing supply programme supports each year.

“The SNP believes that everyone in Scotland deserves a warm, affordable home and with a huge number of affordable homes approved last year, we are making great progress towards that aim.”