CAMPAIGNERS have called for more action to be taken to help the one million people in Scotland living in poverty, including 230,000 children.

The Poverty Alliance says this should include a public campaign to alter negative or discriminatory attitudes to poverty – and training in poverty awareness for all Social Security Scotland staff and elected representatives – as well as a child benefit top-up payment.

The Child Poverty Act 2017 makes Scotland the only part of the UK with targets for reducing poverty. It requires the Scottish Government to reduce the number of children who live in poverty by 2030. A delivery plan was published in March but the Poverty Alliance has set out its own “agenda for action”.

The move comes as the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, arrives in Scotland as part of a two-week inquiry into rising levels of poverty across the UK.

He will meet with Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday before the Poverty Alliance host a round-table meeting with Alston and anti-poverty bodies in Glasgow on Friday.

The Alliance’s “agenda” also includes a call to ensure everyone can afford to heat their homes and says the transport system should be made to work better for people on low incomes.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, commented: “When the Child Poverty Act passed with the unanimous support of all parties in the Scottish Parliament, our political leaders sent a clear signal that in a just and compassionate society it is not acceptable that so many children are living in poverty.

“With 11 social security benefits now devolved or being devolved, the Scottish Government has a huge opportunity to ensure the support people receive enables everyone to have a decent standard of living, by moving towards meeting the minimum income standard.”