Just over a million people in Scotland are living in poverty, according to the findings of a new in-depth report on the issue.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) looks at how people across the UK are affected by poverty and its latest figures suggest that one in five Scots can be described as living under those conditions.
Among the one million plus people in Scotland who are understood to be living in poverty, roughly 240,000 are believed to be children, while 640,000 are working-age adults and 150,000 are pensioners.
The figures suggest that while 20 per cent of Scots live in poverty, the number for the UK as a whole is closer to 22 per cent.
Lower housing costs relative to the UK are cited as the key reason why headline poverty rates are higher across the whole country than they are specifically in Scotland.
However, the JRF has been keen to stress that much more needs to be done by the relevant parties, primarily the Scottish government, if future-looking commitments to tackling poverty in Scotland are to be met.
The recently introduced Scottish Child Payment scheme has been welcomed by anti-poverty campaign groups and charities but the JRF insists that it alone will not be enough to more than halve rates of child poverty by 2030 as the Scottish government has said it is aiming for.
“The recent announcement of the Scottish Child Payment shows what can be achieved when we are bolder in our thinking and accept that only large-scale action will ease the pressure facing families trapped in poverty,” said Jim McCormick, associate director for the JRF in Scotland.
“While this new payment will start to turn the tide, it will not by itself be enough to enable every child to break free from poverty.
“As we mark Challenge Poverty Week, it is vital that ministers in Holyrood match their ambitious targets to solve poverty with the scale of action on housing, work and social security needed to make this a reality.”
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Unusually high rates of inflation are threatening to sweep many more Scots into problem debt situations and serious financial difficulties.
People with debt problems in Scotland are being urged not to struggle with their issues alone and to reach out for help and support if they need it.
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