CHILD Poverty is set to rise by the highest amount in over two decades, MSP Alex Rowley warned this week.

Mid Scotland & Fife MSP Mr Rowley highlighted in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday a projected increase in child poverty from the Resolution Foundation, which suggests the Scottish child poverty rate is in fact likely to be higher in 2023-24 than in 2016-17 with the projected rate of 29% being the highest in over twenty years.

The Labour MSP made the case that this could be tackled by the Scottish Government committing to topping-up child benefit by £5 per week which would lift thousands of children out of poverty.

Commenting on the issue, Mr Rowley said: “The latest Government figures reveal that 240,000 children are living in poverty in Scotland, two thirds of those coming from working households.

“Surely we should be doing everything we can to stop children going hungry, living in cold houses and missing out on a decent standard of living while growing up.

“That’s why I’m calling on the Scottish Government again to take action now, by supporting Labour’s policy of topping up child benefit by £5 per week. This will make a huge difference to thousands of children’s lives".

He added: “The Scottish Government need to be doing everything in their power to tackle these growing levels of poverty and inequality, and use all the powers at their disposal to stop the growing gap between the richest and poorest in Scotland.

"They can’t simply sit by and let child poverty increase.”