PLAID Cymru’s leader has said he would like to see an equivalent of the Scottish Child Payment implemented in Wales where a third of children live in poverty.

The Scottish Child Payment is a weekly payment of £25 for every child who is under 16 for eligible families.

It has now been received by more than 300,000 children and young people, according to official statistics, and experts have claimed it is “significantly reducing child poverty”.

Rhun ap Iorwerth, leader of Plaid Cymru, praised the policy as one the SNP should be proud of during a speech to the party’s conference.

Speaking to The National afterwards, he said he would like to see a similar policy put in place to help children in Wales.

He said: “We’re a progressive party and nothing is more important in terms what we’re trying to achieve in politics than making sure we look after the most vulnerable in our society.

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“A third of children in Wales live in poverty and I won’t rest until we have addressed that and there are lessons from Scotland about the way that has been addressed.

“I know the Scottish Government would like to do more, we want to be in a position to do more in Wales and there’s so much we can do learning from each other.”

Asked if he wanted to see an equivalent of the Scottish Child Payment implemented in Wales, he said: “Yes.

“When you look at independent assessments of how its making a real difference to people’s lives, we’d be daft in Wales not to look at how a policy working in Scotland could work for us too.

“We can’t rest until the scrouge of child poverty has been dealt with and that’s something clearly successive Labour governments have failed to do and we can learn from the SNP.”

Ap Iorwerth said the SNP and Plaid Cymru “take strength from supporting each other” and have always spurred each other on in a positive way.

“We are distinct parties, in distinct nations but we have a core set of values that bind us together and the more we can share ideas, learn from each other, the better I think that will be,” he added.

Support for Welsh independence has been on the ascendancy this year with a poll back in August suggesting 38% of people would vote Yes if a referendum were to be held tomorrow.

In another poll, a majority of 18 to 24-year-olds (53%) said they would vote for independence. With don't knows removed, that stood at 55%.

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Ap Iorwerth highlighted how Welsh independence support has been boosted without the catalyst of a referendum date to aim for.

“I campaigned in Scotland in the referendum in 2014 and that was the culmination of a few very intense years of knowing that referendum was on the horizon,” he said.

“We have been able to grow the support for independence in Wales, yes through Plaid Cymru but also the YesCymru campaign and people who don’t have political affiliation. We’ve been doing that without a date set for the referendum, but what’s key to us in Wales is that we frame this as a journey, a journey we are in control of. I want that to be moving as quickly as possible, but let’s make this work in an organic way.”

YesCymru has even gone as far as to say this year that through Wales, Scotland can find a faster route to its own independence.

Asked if this was now a contest between Wales and Scotland as to who can get independence first, Ap Iorwerth said the SNP and Plaid have always bounced off each other’s success and can continue to push each other in their respective missions for independence.

 Ap Iorwerth said: “It’s often been framed that where Scotland goes, Wales may follow, but there are others who say Wales will be first [to get independence].

“I’ve actually been fascinated by the dynamics between the SNP and Plaid. It was Plaid who had the first MP elected, Winnie Ewing came shortly afterwards. Scotland then performed more strongly in referenda for devolution in ‘79 and ‘97. In ‘99 Plaid had the better of the election results, and then of course the SNP went into government in a way we haven’t quite been able to achieve.

“We push and pull each other along in a positive way.”