Yesterday MSP's passed a new bill setting out four goals that the government is expected to hit by 2030.
The Scottish Government’s Child Poverty Bill was unanimously backed at it's final parliamentary hearing making Scotland the only part of the UK with statutory targets to stop child poverty.
The bill includes targets of having less than 10% of children living in households that are in relative poverty (currently 22%) and less than 5% of children living in households that are persistent poverty. In 2015/16 one in four children in Scotland were living in relative poverty.
Equalities Secretary Angela Constance told the chamber its passing marked “a historic milestone on our road to eradicating child poverty”, adding: “The Bill signals the importance that we as a parliament and as a country place on tackling the unacceptable levels of child poverty.”
She added: “With one in four children living in poverty, we need to take urgent action – both to help those children who are living in poverty now, and to prevent future generations of children growing up in poverty.
“We have already announced a Tackling Child Poverty Fund worth £50 million. This Bill will go even further and see statutory targets to reduce and ultimately eradicate child poverty. This is in stark contrast to the action being taken by the UK Government, which has abolished its child poverty unit and child poverty targets."
“Meeting our ambitious new targets will be challenging and it will seem like we are often fighting with one hand behind our back in the face of the cuts, which are set to increase child poverty across the UK by around one million children,” Constance added.
“But the Scottish Government intends to take positive action to address child poverty and tackle the deep seated generational inequalities in our society.
“We want to work with local authorities, health boards and the third sector to ensure that in our modern, thriving country, children should have the best possible start in life.”