THE number of babies that Glasgow parents are claiming child benefit for has fallen significantly, figures reveal.

The numbers fell from 106,754 to 105,830 between August 2019 and last year - a drop of 915. 

HM Revenue and Customs data shows families were receiving the benefit for more than 4500 children less than one-year-old in Glasgow as of August last year.

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This was 670 fewer than at the same point in 2019, compared to no change seen the year before.​

The fall among children less than one was the largest of all ages in Glasgow.

Anti-poverty campaign group, Turn2Us, claims that the numbers have dropped due to parents being unable to register their newborns due to the Covid pandemic. 

Though HMRC did allow parents to do so without one, Turn2Us said this is likely the main reason for the "significant drop" in claims for babies.

Sara Willcocks, head of external affairs at the charity, added: "While child benefit can be backdated up to three months, it is a serious concern that so many new parents might have missed out on hundreds of pounds.

"Over the last decade, child poverty has risen dramatically and we have seen baby banks pop up across the country as so many parents struggle with the costs of raising a child.

"This is why it is vital parents claim all the support they are entitled to."

The anti-poverty group has called on the Government to increase child benefit by at least £10 per child per week, and publicise the scheme more widely to increase uptake.

The benefit is increasing from £21.05 to £21.15 for the eldest child from April 12, and from £13.95 to £14 per week for each subsequent child.

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Overall, the number of children for whom benefits were being received across the UK fell by just 1% between both 2018 and 2019, and 2019 and 2020.

The Child Poverty Action Group said it is "very concerning" that changes to the benefit in recent years – including a cut-off for higher earners – have led some parents to think they are not entitled.

Chief executive Alison Garnham added: "It may also be that in lockdown while parents are not registering births in person or having face-to-face benefits advice, they don’t get the information and help they need to claim.

"Child benefit is core money for the poorest families, not an extra, so if parents are not getting their entitlement it’s deeply worrying for the well-being of children."

An HMRC spokesman said it is important that new parents remember to register for child benefit, even during these "unprecedented times".