Humza Yousaf has been warned there is “not a moment to lose” to deliver his promise to further increase the payment made to low income families with children.

The Child Poverty Action Group is pressing the First Minister to use his first Programme for Government on Tuesday to up the Scottish Child Payment, which currently stands at £25 a week per qualifying child, by at least an additional £5.

In addition, Mr Yousaf is being urged to commit cash to mitigate the impact of Westminster’s two-child cap on certain benefits – with the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) estimating that this affects more than 80,000 children across the county.

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As of the end of June, some 316,190 under-16s were in receipt of the Scottish Child Payment – a benefit introduced by the Scottish Government as part of efforts to tackle child poverty which is not available to families in other parts of the UK.

But CPAG has estimated if the Scottish Government is to meet the legally binding target of reducing the number of children in relative poverty to 18%, this needs to be increased to £40 a week.

Currently about 250,000 youngsters in Scotland – 24% of all children – are living in poverty, with Holyrood also having committed to cut this to less than 10% by 2030.

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Mr Yousaf has already vowed his programme, which will set the priorities for the coming year, will seek to boost the economy, thus allowing ministers to “invest more in anti-poverty measures” as well as supporting public services.

The First Minister said the Scottish Government will outline “measures to support businesses and communities to unleash potential and promote entrepreneurship, helping provide well-paid jobs right across Scotland, and boosting national and local economies”.

Stressing that “during these challenging times, the people of Scotland need a Government that is on their side”, Mr Yousaf added: “Our focus on boosting economic growth will enable us to invest more in anti-poverty measures and support our vital public services, protecting the most vulnerable in society and raising the standard of living for everyone.”

CPAG director John Dickie insisted the First Minister must use Tuesday’s flagship statement to deliver on pledges on child poverty made during the SNP leadership campaign.

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Mr Dickie said: “The First Minister has been right to say that tackling child poverty must be a top priority and his leadership campaign pledge to increase the Scottish child payment to £30 in his first budget was especially welcome.

“His first Programme for Government is his opportunity to show he will deliver on that promise.

“With low-income families still reeling under the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis, there is not a moment to lose to turn his welcome words into concrete policies.”

CPAG is also calling on the Scottish Government to invest more in childcare, and is urging ministers to keep the commitment made in the SNP manifesto to increase school clothing grants in line with inflation – increasing them to at least £150 for primary school youngsters and £185 for secondary school pupils by summer 2024.