Council agrees to boost Family Pandemic Payments

East Ayrshire Councillors today approved proposals to boost the Family Pandemic Payments (FPPs) by a further £50 to assist low income families at this time.

At the Council meeting today, the Chief Executive of East Ayrshire Council, Eddie Fraser, explained that he has used his Delegated Authority to provide a further £50 to each child as a contribution from the Council, following approval by the Leader of the Council and the Leaders of the Labour and Conservative Groups. This means that the amount paid for each of the 3,728 children in eligible families will be £235 instead of £185 and payments will be hitting family bank accounts today.

FPPs are paid to families of P1-S6 children in receipt of free school meals due to low income levels within their family. The latest payment of £160 per child will be increased by a further £25 for each child - this £25 payment represents the cost of that child’s school meals that would have been provided during the Christmas school holiday period.

The cost of providing the additional £50 is £0.186m and a recently received COVID grant for Financial Insecurity will be used to meet this cost.

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council, welcomed these proposals. He said:

“This has been a tough year for everyone, but we are acutely aware that some families have suffered considerable hardship as a consequence of COVID-19, through no fault of their own.

“We want to do all we possibly can to support those families most in need, particularly at this time of year. By boosting these payments from the Council’s own resources, we are ensuring that no young person is excluded from the prospect of a having a better Christmas.

Councillor John McGhee, Leader of the East Ayrshire Labour Group said:

“Every local councillor recognises the difficulties faced by our communities during this continuing pandemic. The increase to the family pandemic payment and the immediate provision of the funding to the families is greatly welcomed”.

Councillor Tom Cook, Leader of the East Ayrshire Conservative Group said:

“The past year has not been easy for many people, but at this time it is particularly difficult for those families on low incomes. That is why I fully support these proposals to put much needed money into people’s pockets, enabling them to provide food and gifts for their children this Christmas.”