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New report reveals "devastating" rise in Scottish poverty figures

Child poverty across the UK has continued to rise across the last three years and is now at its highest since 2010, according to official figures.

Published yesterday (Thursday 16 March), the data reveals that 100,000 children fell into relative poverty in the year 2015-16. In Scotland, more than a quarter of children  or one in four — are living in relative poverty.

John Dickie of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland described the rise of 4% from the previous year as "devastating".

Jackie Brock, Chief Executive of Children in Scotland, said: "These figures show that poverty continues to rise across the UK, affecting around one in four children and millions of families here in Scotland. Our ambition of making Scotland a fairer, more equal place and of making real inroads when it comes to tackling poverty, simply isn't being met.

"This is a sign that so much more has to be done to reverse the worrying trend of more and more families falling below the poverty line.

"Earlier this year we, along with colleagues across the sector, supported calls for the Scottish Parliament to review and increase child benefit. A relatively minor change, topping up child benefit by £5 per week, has been suggested to reduce poverty levels by as much as 14%.

Yesterday's figures are a clear indication that increasing poverty levels is a problem that must be addressed head-on. We urge the government to take bold action to support their ambitious rhetoric and help children and families across Scotland."

View the Households Below Average Income (HNAI) report, published by the UK Government on 16 March 2017.