The Scottish Tories will make vulnerable families wait four years for a lifeline anti-poverty payment to be increased.
Douglas Ross ’ party supports doubling the Scottish Child Payment to £20 a week, but their Holyrood manifesto only commits them to the rise in 2025.
The SCP, a flagship Scottish Government policy, gives low income families a £10 a week income boost.
It has been welcomed by anti-poverty charities and a cross-party consensus exists on increasing the payment.
The SNP, Labour, Lib Dems, Greens and the Tories have all backed doubling the SCP to £20 a week.
However, a costings document accompanying the Conservative manifesto shows that families should not expect the £10 a week increase from the Tories any time soon.
The party pencilled in a zero cost for the first four years of the parliament, before allocating £182m for the rise in 2025/26.
By contrast, the Tories are committed to “realigning” income tax rates and bands with the rest of the UK, a policy that would make higher income earners better off.
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The Lib Dems claimed today that the change in tax bands would mean Ross is better off by more than £1,300.
The same costings document shows that a Tory commitment to raising the nil band on house purchases of up to £250,000 will be funded in 2022.
Scottish Lib Dem campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said: "It's baffling to see the Scottish Conservatives prioritise a tax cut for themselves over a payment that goes to the poorest families in Scotland.
“Theresa May once famously described the Conservative Party as “the nasty party”. She, at least, was embarrassed by it. The current Scottish Conservative leadership seems to regard it as a boast.”
"Scottish Liberal Democrats will double the Scottish Child Payment from next year and consider further top-up social security payments, similar to the child payment, for families with one or more disabled parent or disabled child, to make a bigger impact on child poverty.
Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said: “When the Tories talk about a recovery, they mean a tax cut for the wealthy while leaving those families worst hit by the pandemic waiting for years for help. What an appalling set of priorities. It’s clear Scotland needs a fair and green recovery that leaves no one behind and secures our survival, as we tackle the climate emergency with the urgency it requires. Our future depends on it.”
A Tory source said the party would back a quicker increase to the SCP if the money becomes available.