County MSP Iain Gray is highlighting Labour’s plan to increase Child Benefit by £240 per year which would help nearly 8,500 families in his East Lothian constituency.

Mr Gray revealed the figures as child poverty in Scotland has spiked, with a 70,000 increase in the past five years, going from 190,000 to 260,000.

The party has said that Holyrood’s new powers over social security should be used to top up Child Benefit by £240 per year by 2020, a move which would lift 30,000 children out of poverty.

The proposal, which would benefit some 8,480 families in the East Lothian constituency, has strong support in opinion polls and across civic Scotland. Mr Gray said the party at Holyrood would continue to push the SNP government to deliver the rise.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“In 21st century Scotland, there shouldn’t be a single child living in poverty. Instead more than a quarter of a million Scottish children live in poverty, an increase of 70,000 in the last five years.

“We want to see an increase in Child Benefit, putting an extra £240 for each and every child into the pockets of thousands of families in East Lothian by the end of the decade.

“This is the sort of anti-austerity policy that Labour will continue to push for in Holyrood. The Scottish Parliament has the powers to make Scotland the best country in the world to live, work, grow up and grow old in – it is time for those powers to be used properly.”

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