Scots Govt accused of ‘bribing’ parents over Named Person

The SNP Government has been accused of trying to “buy support” for its Named Person plans with a “bribe” for people who attend a training and development event.

Grassroots organisation NO2NP made the comments as Scotland’s highest court considered arguments against the Named Person scheme made on behalf of The Christian Institute and concerned organisations and parents.

Under the scheme, every child in Scotland will be assigned a state-employed guardian to monitor their welfare.

Vulnerable children

NO2NP raised concerns over an event for the Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) initiative which will see parents given a £25 gift voucher and reimbursement of transport costs.

A flyer for the day describes it as an opportunity to “develop clear messages about GIRFEC and come up with creative ways to share those messages with families”.

However, the campaign group said the Hampden Park event is a “rather cynical attempt to bribe people into supporting the GIRFEC principles which underpin the Named Person proposals”.

Government money would “be far better spent on funding social workers who are actually working with vulnerable children and needy families”, NO2NP commented.

Family life

The two-day court appeal hearing in Edinburgh follows judge Lord Pentland’s rejection of the legal challenge last year.

The case is brought by The Christian Institute, Christian charity CARE, Tymes (The Young ME Sufferers) Trust and the Family Education Trust.

The groups contend that the Named Person scheme breaches data protection and human rights laws and is an unjustified interference with family and private life.

National rollout

The scheme, which the Scottish Government intends to roll out nationally by August 2016, is part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Responding to NO2NP’s criticism the Government said: “We want to hear from ordinary families and the offer of expenses acknowledges the time parents and young people have taken to contribute.”

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