ONE in three children lives in poverty in Scotland, as ministers face missing legal deprivation targets.

New analysis has revealed that before the full rollout of the Scottish Child Payment, levels of child poverty were at their highest in Glasgow (32%), North Ayrshire (29%), Clackmannanshire (28.3%), and West Dunbartonshire (27.6%) and the lowest in East Renfrewshire (14.4%), East Dunbartonshire (14.9%), Shetland (15.4%) and Aberdeenshire (16%).

250,000 kids are in poverty – which amounts to 24% of the Scottish population. The targets the government is expected to hit are 18% by next year and 10% by 2030, as set out by the Child Poverty Act 2017.

The government has already introduced the Scottish Child Payment in February 2021 – which will lift 50,000 children out of poverty, according to official analysis. But, that on its own would not hit the 18% target as it's only a five per cent reduction.

They urge UK Government to scrap the two-child benefit limit imposed by the UK Government but that Scottish ministers should “do the right thing” and mitigate this “unfair and indiscriminate” policy.

Local authorities have also been urged to build on existing action to maximise family incomes and cut costs.

The research by Loughborough University, on behalf of the End Child Poverty coalition, says that levels of child poverty remained "unacceptably high" across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The study which covers the period 2021/22, gives the best available estimates of child poverty at local authority level after housing costs have been taken into account.

And anti-poverty campaigners are asking Scottish Government to invest further in the Scottish Child Payment, both to increase its value and to provide additional payments for families affected by the UK-wide two child limit, until it is abolished.

Scottish Child Payment was extended to include all eligible children until their 16th birthday and increased to £25 per child per week in November last year.

New figures show that 303,000 children were receiving the payment at the end of March.

The total amount of the benefit paid out since its February 2021 launch now stands at £248.6 million.

The National:

Members of the End Child Poverty coalition – whose members in Scotland include Child Poverty Action Group, Save the Children, Trussell Trust, Poverty Alliance, Oxfam Scotland, Close the Gap, Aberlour, Children 1st, Home-Start Scotland, Children in Scotland, Action for Children and One Parent Families Scotland – are calling on the UK Government to scrap the two child limit policy at source. John Dickie of the End Child Poverty coalition said further effort is needed to ensure the child poverty targets are met.

“These latest statistics are a stark reminder that child poverty remains unacceptably high across the UK, including in every local authority area of Scotland. It’s now absolutely vital that the UK Government scraps poverty creating policies like the two-child limit," he said.

“Here in Scotland, the Scottish Child Payment is already making a big difference to struggling families, but further effort is now needed to ensure Scotland’s upcoming child poverty targets are met.

“The First Minister has committed to used devolved powers to the ‘absolute maximum effect’, so his government must now do the right thing and go further to both increase the value of the Scottish child payment and put in place additional payments for families affected by the two-child limit.”

The study found that Scotland has lower levels of child poverty than England or Wales. Aross the UK, 4.2m children were living in poverty (29%).