POCKETS of intense child poverty are found in the most affluent areas of Scotland, experts have warned.

Professor John McKendrick of Glasgow Caledonian University said the majority of people experiencing income poverty do not live in areas of “multiple deprivation” with two-thirds - 468,430 - living outside those areas.

Even in the most affluent areas, including Hillhead in Kirkintilloch and Barrhead in East Renfrewshire, he said there are people, “living on an income that means that they are not able to afford what the majority of people in Scotland would agree that the majority should be able to afford.”

Councils are compelled to publish action plans following the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill, which seeks to eradicate child poverty in Scotland by 2030.

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However, ultimate responsibility rests with the UK Government, according to the Professor.

He said: “Although it would be misleading to claim that poverty is ‘everywhere’ in Scotland, the evidence suggests that it is far more widespread than might be expected.

“Living in poverty is not the same as living in a deprived area. Put simply, the majority of people experiencing poverty in Scotland do not live in multiple deprived areas.

“This suggests that even in most of the affluent neighbourhoods."

The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, used to assess local areas of poverty, looks at a range of factors such as adequate housing, health, education, and employment.

If income deprivation alone is used, two-thirds of those affected live outwith a deprived area.

Caledonian University is preparing to launch the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit (SPIRU).

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Previous analysis has called for flexible work opportunities and whole-year childcare support to help parents enter work.

Professor McKendrick added: “Without question, responsibility for the most powerful tools to alleviate child poverty in Scotland rests with the UK Government.

“It must also be acknowledged that recent reductions in capacity within Scottish local authorities may have resulted in a loss of expertise among those most directly involved in local anti-poverty work. Similarly, constraints on local authority budgets limit the bounds of what is possible.

“Notwithstanding the limits to what Scotland can achieve without full control of the levers of tax, tax credits and social security, with the powers at its disposal Scotland can ensure that the scale of progress in tackling child poverty is greater than that of other UK regions using the tools at its disposal to greatest effect.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Scotland is now the first part of the UK to set ambitious targets to tackle child poverty, showing how serious we are about reducing inequality and eradicating child poverty.

"We are determined to take action through our first national Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, backed by our £50 million Fund, which will be published this month.

"To support local authorities in tackling child poverty, we now publish new council area-level statistics on children in families with limited resources.

"These supplement existing tools such as the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation to allow local authorities to base their services on local need."