CHILD poverty continues to be a blight on our society, and I was encouraged to hear our new First Minister John Swinney announce that eradicating child poverty would be his main focus.

Of course, one child living in poverty is one too many, but the most recent child poverty statistics demonstrate that Scottish Government policy choices are having a positive impact.

Scottish figures have remained stable, while, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the rest of the UK, where 100,000 children have been pulled into poverty.

In order to ensure the next generation have the best start in life, we must eradicate child poverty, as this can negatively impact a child’s education, health and mental wellbeing.

The Scottish Government’s aim to reduce relative child poverty to 10 per cent by 2031 is a bold one, and more will have to be done to ensure we reach this.

Child Poverty Action Group believes that child poverty in Scotland will fall thanks to the groundbreaking Scottish Child Payment. These are steps in the right direction and are making a substantive difference for families across the country.

The Scottish Government’s modelling suggests the recent Scottish Child Payment increase to £25 and expansion to 0-15-year-olds could reduce child poverty by five per cent in 2024-25. This predicted reduction is down to policy choices by the SNP Government despite the Westminster austerity and OECD predicting that Brexit Britain is predicted to have the lowest growth in the G7.

I am proud of the SNP’s record in tackling poverty and, with a UK General Election looming, I am convinced that the Scottish public will see the SNP’s positive vision for Scotland, as opposed to a regressive and unfair Tory and Labour Party committed to more austerity and the two-child benefit cap.