THE SCOTTISH Government risk missing 17 key international targets on poverty and inequality, according to a critical new report.

Research, published today by Oxfam and the University of the West of Scotland, with input from 22 charities and public sector organisations, says progress towards meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 is mixed.

In 2015, Scotland was one of the first countries in the world to sign up to the global targets on poverty, inequality and sustainability.

READ MORE: Rhiannon Sims: Holyrood’s tax powers must reduce inequality

Nicola Sturgeon said the goals – which include aims to end poverty in all its forms, end hunger, achieve gender equality and promote sustainable economic growth – offered “a vision of the world that I believe people in Scotland share”.

“That is why I am delighted to confirm that Scotland has become one of the first nations on Earth to publicly sign up.

“We need to grasp the opportunity that following this path offers to create a fairer Scotland and a better world both now and for generations to come.”

Writing in today’s The National, Oxfam’s Rhiannon Sims, says Scotland’s slow progress at meeting the goals are “felt more acutely by low income households”.

She says that despite a political focus on poverty and inequality the incomes of the top 10% of the population are over a quarter more than the bottom 40%.

“Far from narrowing, income inequality in Scotland is deepening.”

While Sims says “many important levers remain reserved to Westminster” the Edinburgh Government could be using their tax raising powers to raise more for the public coffers. She writes: “To put this in perspective, across the UK, since 2000, combined wealth taxes have remained relatively static at around 3% of GDP. Over the same period, wealth as a proportion of GDP has risen from 500% to an eye-watering 700%.

“In Scotland, it is time to take the concentration of wealth seriously. Tax powers exist in Scotland beyond income tax and these should be explored as a tool to redistribute wealth more evenly.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are committed to reducing poverty and inequality, which is why we were one of the first nations to sign up to the sustainable development goals and provide international leadership on reducing inequality.”

The Scottish Government is also undertaking its own assessment of its progress on the target, which is due to be published in the summer.

Earlier this week, the Government announced plans for a new £10 top up to child benefit for Scotland’s poorest families.