Child poverty and inequality rises in Scotland
Child poverty - PA
The proportion of children living in poverty in Scotland has risen from 22 per cent to 26 per cent in one year, according to the latest Scottish Government figures.
Statistics published today show that 260,000 children are living in relative poverty in Scotland compared to 220,000 in the previous year, after housing costs.
The Scottish Government's Child Poverty Bill will set a target to reduce the percentage of children living in poverty to ten per cent by 2030.
Child poverty bill published by Scottish Government
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The number of people of all ages living in poverty has increased from 18 per cent to 20 per cent of the population, according to the figures.
As well as poverty, income inequality has also risen sharply. The top 10 per cent of the population had 38 per cent more income in 2015/16 than the bottom 40 per cent combined. This compares to 15 per cent more income in 2014/15.
The figures are compiled from the Family Resources Survey, which uses a large sample of 2,700 households.
John Dickie, director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said the figures demonstrated the need for an increase in child benefit, which he said could reduce the numbers of child poverty by 14 per cent.
“We cannot afford to lose sight of the tens of thousands of children across Scotland that lie behind these statistics and the devastating impact that poverty will too often have on their health, wellbeing and life chances," he said.
“These figures highlight just how important the Child Poverty Bill currently before the Scottish Parliament is. But legislation alone won’t end poverty and the Scottish Government must now act quickly to implement the kind of concrete, practical policies that would make a significant dent in these figures."