More than £93,000 has been paid out to low-income families in West Dunbartonshire in the first three months of a new payment scheme to help cover the costs of having a baby.

Official statistics show that 270 families in the area received payments following the transfer of 11 social security powers to Holyrood from Westminster.

Out of the total 350 applications processed, 75 were denied and five were withdrawn.

By comparison, a total of £47,700 was paid in Argyll and Bute to 140 families and 55 applications were denied.

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In Scotland as a whole, £3.5 million was paid to 15,000 families.

The Scottish Government last year began a rollout of benefits as part of the phased introduction of a new social security system.

It means low-income families have been able to apply for the first part of the new Best Start Grant, the Pregnancy and Baby Payment, since it opened.

The payment provides £600 for a first child and £300 for any siblings thereafter and is designed to help with the costs of pregnancy or having a baby such as for maternity clothes, a cot or pram.

It replaces the UK Government’s Sure Start Grant, which does not entitle payment to children who are not the first born in their family.

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Cabinet Secretary for Social Security Shirley-Anne Somerville said the statistics are evidence of what Holyrood can do with the powers to help support families across the country.

She added: “I am committed to making sure that every child gets the support they need to have the best start in life.”