THE rate of poverty in Scotland has risen to 20%, according to a new report.

A Social Metrics Commission study shows a slight increase for 2017-18 after “a steady downward trend for more than a decade”.

It is the same rate as Northern Ireland and higher than the south-east of England (18%) but lower than Wales (24%), London (28%), and the UK average (22%). The report suggests 26% of single Scot sare in poverty while the rate is 42% for lone parents. Couples with children have a 21% poverty rate compared to 11% for couples without children.

The report says: “Compared to the UK average, poverty rates are generally higher for people living in Wales and lower for those living in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“Overall poverty rates in England, Northern Ireland and Wales have broadly followed the overall trends in the UK poverty rate – falling slowly in the early 2000s, rising during the financial crisis and recession and then falling post-recession.

“Changes in Scotland have been different, where up to 2015-16 the poverty rate had been on a steady downward trend for more than a decade.

However, in the most recent two years of data, the poverty rate in Scotland has risen.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “On the same day that old Etonian Boris Johnson visits Scotland, this is a reminder of what the Tories have done in power.”