Martin Whitfield MSP has described new Scottish Government statistics on poverty, which show no progress has been made on tackling the problem in Scotland, as “devastating”.

The figures show that overall relative poverty after housing costs between 2019-22 has risen by 2 per cent to 21 per cent since 2018-21, while child poverty remains at 24 per cent.

Mr Whitfield has joined calls from fellow politicians and campaigners for the new First Minister to redouble the government’s efforts to reduce poverty levels.

Commenting, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“These devastating figures, which emerged on the day Nicola Sturgeon faced her final First Minister’s Questions, lay bare her government’s abject failure to tackle poverty.

“After nearly 16 years in power, one in four children are still living in poverty. This is a shameful blight on the SNP’s record in government.

“A single person in poverty is one too many and a single day spent in poverty is a day too many  – but the SNP seem to think that poverty levels being ‘stable’ is acceptable.

“It’s clear that neither the UK or Scottish governments have done enough to help people struggling with the impact of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

“The next First Minister must make tackling poverty their top priority, before another generation is lost as a result of this Scottish Government’s failure to act.”