CHILD poverty is stable in Scotland but rising in the rest of the UK, a leading charity has said after new figures were published.

The Child Poverty Action Group further said it expected to see child poverty rates in Scotland falling as the latest data does not “yet include the full impact of the roll out of the Scottish Child Payment and its increase to £25 per week in November 2022”.

The news comes after the Scottish Government published accredited official statistics, covering the three-year period until March 2023, which found:

  • 24% of children in Scotland are in relative poverty
  • 70% of children in poverty live in working families
  • 21% of working-age adults in Scotland are in relative poverty, with those under 25 more likely to be in poverty
  • 15% of pensioners in Scotland are in relative poverty
  • Minority ethnic households are more likely to be in poverty compared to white British households

The Child Poverty Action Group said that, across the UK, 100,000 more children were pulled into poverty, meaning a “shocking 4.3 million children (30% of all UK children) were in poverty – up from 3.6 million in 2010-11”.

However, there are strong warnings that Scotland is not doing enough to meet its 2030 child poverty targets.

John Dickie, the director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said: “In a rich country these scandalous levels of child poverty are utterly unacceptable and a stark reminder how vital it is that the Scottish Government ratchets up its focus on child poverty.

“The First Minister really can’t rely on the current policy package to make the progress needed to meet legally binding child poverty targets.

“At the very, very least he needs to deliver on his commitment to increase the Scottish Child Payment to £30 per week, rethink cuts to affordable housing and ensure childcare and employment support are adequately funded.

“At the same time the UK Government must stop its poverty producing policies like the two-child limit. We need every level of government working to end child poverty.”

Professor Stephen Sinclair, the chair of the Poverty and Inequality Commission, said: “The latest child poverty statistics are disappointing and show that more work is needed from the Scottish Government to ensure it meets Scotland’s statutory child poverty targets and its wider aims of reducing poverty for all.

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“The increase in value and extension of the Scottish Child Payment has made a positive difference to the circumstances of hundreds of thousands of children, but this alone has not been enough to keep Scotland on track towards the 2030 targets.”

The figures consider a person to be living in relative poverty if their household income is less than 60% of the current UK median.

The Scottish Government noted: “Increases in the proportion of people living in relative poverty indicate that the gap between the poorest and middle income households is widening.”

You can find the full poverty statistical release on the Scottish Government website.