Yousaf pledges to look at child payment increase if chosen to replace Sturgeon

SNP leadership hopeful Humza Yousaf has said he would look at increasing the Scottish child payment if elected.

The Health Secretary is currently facing off against Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and former community safety minister Ash Regan to replace Nicola Sturgeon.

One of the major achievements of Ms Sturgeon’s tenure was the creation of a devolved benefits agency, which then started the Scottish child payment – a £25 per week payout to the country’s poorest families with children under 16.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Mr Yousaf said he would look at going further.

“Without a doubt,” he said, when asked if he would go further.

“The benefit of being first minister is you get to choose what your priorities are.

“I would want to see us continue to increase that in order to make sure that it’s helping the poorest and the most vulnerable in our society.

“In my first budget, I would seek to see what we could do to increase the Scottish child payment.”

Mr Yousaf also said he would look to withdraw a current consultation on banning alcohol advertising, citing a “degree of concern” about potential changes, adding he would restart the process, making it clearer to businesses what changes were likely to be made.

“I’d be minded to withdraw it, but let me make it absolutely clear, with the absolute determination to bring that consultation forward, once again,” he said.

He added: “I see the damage that alcohol does to people’s health but it’s clear that the current consultation is causing some degree of concern.

“I think there’s often a lot of misinformation around particular issues that affect business and I think we’ve got to make sure that if we are producing a consultation that is ultimately going to affect business, we’re doing it in a way where we explain before the consultation goes out what it is we’re trying to do.”