Skip to the content

Scotland to get smartcards for food support


Mark Say Managing Editor

Get UKAuthority News


The Scottish Government is planning to introduce pre-paid digital smartcards to replace food vouchers for low income families.

It said that it plans to replace the current paper Healthy Start Vouchers with the Best Start Foods card by summer of next year.

The card will be pre-loaded for use every four weeks and restricted to use in shops that accept card payments.

The move comes in response to its consultation on the Welfare Foods scheme, which found a perception that the move to smartcards could reduce stigma, increase take-up and be easier for the families using them.

It also pointed to a need to provide support and training for retailers in using the system.

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “Diet impacts on children’s health, their learning ability and their life chances as they grow up, but too many low income families face barriers to eating healthily.

“There is clear and strong backing for our plans to further support families, through making the system easy to use and by increasing the foods that families can access. This gives us a strong foundation for introducing these changes.”

Image from, Open Government Licence

Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.