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Views sought on Holyrood’s ‘landmark’ child poverty legislation

A committee is examining the Child Poverty Act (Jane Barlow/PA)
A committee is examining the Child Poverty Act (Jane Barlow/PA)

A Holyrood committee is seeking views on the “landmark” legislation which put child poverty targets into law in Scotland.

The Social Justice Committee is considering the impact of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017.

The legislation also created the Poverty and Inequality Commission, which advises the Scottish Government on how to close the gap between the richest and poorest.

The legally set target is to reduce relative child poverty to 10% by 2030.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville has said Scotland still has a path to meet this goal but it will be “challenging”.

Statistics released in March showed the number of children living in relative poverty was up by approximately 30,000 from the previous year after housing costs.

MSPs on the committee have urged the government to “supercharge” its efforts around parental employment.

Collette Stevenson MSP, convener of the committee, said: “The Child Poverty Act is a landmark piece of legislation, enshrining in law targets to virtually eradicate child poverty by April 2030.

“As we are now more than halfway towards the date when the 2030 targets are due to be met, our committee would like to hear views on how the Act is working in practice.

“We’re really keen to understand whether putting the targets into law has been effective and what might have been different had the Scottish Government not taken this approach.”