CHILD poverty is still rising in Scotland with hundreds of thousands of children living below the breadline.

The Scottish Government’s report shows 220,000 children are living in relative poverty a figure that has not changed since previous reports.

The number on absolute poverty is down slightly to 200,000.

Measures before housing costs are considered showed an increase in both relative and absolute child poverty.

Relative child poverty increased by 20,000 more children up from 14% to 17%.

And absolute poverty rose from 14% to 16% to 150,000 children.

The Scottish Government is planning a Child Poverty Bill with a new delivery plan and new targets for improvement.

Campaigners welcome the proposed Bill but warns efforts need to be redoubled to have any hope of success.

The report showed some signs of improvement in non-income measures for poverty like education and employment status.

Angela Constance, Equalities Secretary said the “deep-rooted causes” would be the focus of the new strategy when it is launched.

She said: “It’s simply unacceptable that children are growing up in poverty in Scotland and that’s why tackling the issue is a key priority for this government.”

She said she was encouraged that the employment rate gap between the most deprived areas and the rest of Scotland has narrowed and that the percentage of school leavers from the most deprived areas who are in positive destinations has increased.

Campaigners however warn that every level of government must be clear of their responsibility to tackle child poverty.

John Dickie, Director of Child Poverty Action Group, said: “With a totally unacceptable one in five of Scotland’s children still living in poverty it’s clear government at every level needs to ratchet up commitment to ending that poverty.

“It’s now essential that the new Bill includes clear duties setting out the role of local government and its partners, and that Government has a duty to report to Parliament on progress in the years ahead.”

The Scottish Greens said what is needed is an anti-poverty budget from the Scottish Government.

Alison Johnstone, Social Security spokesperson said: “We have the ability with income tax powers to give lower earners a tax cut while generating more funds for anti-poverty measures and public services by ensuring higher earners pay a fairer share.”