A THIRD of a million Scots children are living in households teetering on a financial cliff edge, Scottish Labour has said.

Official statistics suggest 330,000 children are in households without access to £500 to cover an unexpected, but necessary, expense – like a boiler or a fridge breaking down.

Labour said the figures highlighted the thousands of families struggling with limited resources.

The party’s poverty spokeswoman Elaine Smith said too many of them were “one big unexpected bill away from being in real financial trouble”.

She said: “That shows the extent of the problems in our economy, people are on their own financial cliff edge.

“Replacing something like a fridge or boiler is expensive, but thousands of families with children would need to turn to debt to do it, because the cost of living, precarious work and stagnant wages aren’t letting people save for a rainy day.

“The SNP has rejected Labour’s call to top up child benefit but families cannot afford to wait until 2022 for the SNP’s income supplement. They must bring it forward.”

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “Tackling – and ultimately eradicating – child poverty in Scotland is one of our main priorities.”

She said the Government is committed to introducing an income supplement to provide additional financial support for poorer families.

She added: “We are currently exploring options to reach the greatest number of children in poverty, ensuring we top up incomes sufficiently to lift those households out of poverty.

“We do this despite the UK Government’s policies that will reduce social security spend in Scotland by £3.7 billion by 2020-21 which is pushing people into poverty.

“We are investing around £125 million every year to mitigate the worst of these cuts and support those on low incomes.”