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Child Poverty

Child Poverty 

Around one in four children in Scotland lives in poverty. A range of action is being taken to reduce this so that fewer children experience poverty.

Child Poverty Act

In February 2017 Scottish Ministers introduced the Child Poverty Bill to the Scottish Parliament, which sets out targets to reduce the number of children experiencing the effects of poverty by 2030.

Following scrutiny the Bill was passed unanimously in the Scottish Parliament in November 2017, receiving Royal Assent in December 2017.

The Act sets statutory targets which help focus efforts to tackle and ultimately eradicate child poverty and help monitor progress.

The targets state that by 2030, of children living in Scottish households:

  • less than 10% should be living in relative poverty
  • less than 5% should be living in absolute poverty
  • less than 5% should be living with combined low income and material deprivation
  • less than 5% should be living in persistent poverty


The Act requires Scottish Ministers to publish child poverty delivery plans at regular intervals, with annual reports to measure progress.

Local authorities and health boards must also jointly publish annual reports on what they are doing to reduce child poverty in the local area.

The Act also established a statutory Poverty and Inequality Commission from 1 July 2019.

Tackling child poverty as part of a wider strategy

The Child Poverty Act is part of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, which sets the overall strategy for tackling poverty and inequality in Scotland.


Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan

The Scottish Government published Every Child, Every Chance: the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2018-22 on 29 March 2018. This plan sets out actions to be taken to progress towards the ambitious child poverty targets set for 2030.


The first annual report was published in June 2019.