SNP ministers will raise the Scottish child payment to £25 a week by the end of the year and spend £10 million annually to “mitigate the UK Government benefit cap”.

In 2017, MSPs agreed a statutory commitment that less than 10 per cent of children should be living in relative poverty by 2030 and less than 5% should be in absolute poverty.

But warnings have been issued that targets are off track and will not be met without further action.

Currently, around one in four children are living in poverty in Scotland today.

The Scottish Government has been under pressure to increase the £10 weekly payment to help lift families out of poverty. Ministers had previously announced he payment will be doubled to £20 a week next month – but will now rise further to £25 a week by the end of 2022.

Social Justice Minister Shona Robison made the announcement, which she said is "expected to lift 50,000 children out of poverty" by 2024, in setting out the Scottish Government’s updated child poverty strategy.

Addressing MSPs in Holyrood, Ms Robison acknowledged “there is no silver bullet to tackle child poverty”.

Pointing to the UK Government’s removal of the temporary £20 Universal Credit uplift and other “ongoing impacts of welfare cuts including the benefit cap and two child limit”, Ms Robison said this posed “a very significant risk” to the Scottish Government’s ambitions.

Pointing to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spring statement yesterday, Ms Robison claimed “it was a missed opportunity to give families the immediate support they need in the face of a cost of living crisis”.

She said: “ In this plan, our government will go further in its support in order to provide the support families need now, and to drive progress toward the interim targets set.

"We will double the game changing Scottish Child Payment to £20 in just over a week and extend the Payment to children under 16 by the end of this year.

“However, I am pleased to announce that we will go further still, and will also increase its value again to £25 per week per child by the end of 2022.”

Ms Robison highlighted that the level the benefit will reach by the end of the year “is five times higher than the £5 payment we were being asked to introduce less than five year ago”.

She said: “Over 400,000 children will be eligible, with the payment expected to lift 50,000 children out of poverty in 2023/24. This is backed by investment of £225 million in 22/23, rising to £445 million in 23/24.

“As a result of this increase, by the end of 2022, our package of five family benefits - for low income families will be worth over £10,000 by the time a families’ first child turns six, and £9,700 for second and subsequent children.”

The SNP has previously criticised the UK Government’s benefit cap – which is the limit on the total amount of benefit that a household can receive.

Ms Robison also told MSPs that the Scottish Government “will take immediate steps to mitigate the UK Government benefit cap as fully as we can within the scope of devolved powers”, which would be backed by up to £10 million each year.

She said: “This will help support thousands of the lowest income families, including lone parent families who are disproportionately impacted by the cap.”

John Dickie, director of Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, said the further £5 increase to the Scottish child payment was "hugely welcome".

He added: "On top of the doubling of the payment to £20 a week from next month it will make a big difference to struggling families across Scotland.

"The value and reach of the payment must now be kept under close review to ensure it is sufficient to help meet the statutory child poverty targets in 2024 and 2030. The Scottish Government’s commitment today to better mitigate the UK Government’s benefit cap will also be welcomed by the 4,000 families affected in Scotland, many in the deepest poverty.

“Families living in poverty have been left brutally exposed to soaring energy prices and food price hikes so the clear focus of this plan on increasing incomes and reducing the costs families face is absolutely right.

"With its increased social security and employment support offer to parents  this plan lays the foundations, but delivery is now the key to further progress. Families need adequate social security, good quality decently paid jobs, more funded childcare and genuinely affordable homes.

"They also need to be able to access all the support they need, when they need it. They need a ‘no wrong door’ approach to the services and benefits that open up opportunities and prevent poverty.”

Conservative MSP Miles Briggs pointed to thousands of families that are homeless, claiming that "it is contributing to child poverty" in Scotland, warning there is a lack of action from the SNP Government to take children out of temporary accommodation.

He said: "Across scotland, more than 7,500 children are living in temporary accommodation."

Mr Briggs added that the Scottish Govenrment "cannot wash their hand of this housing crisis".

Labour MSP Pam Duncan-Glancey welcomed the Scottish child payment being further increased but complained the initial doubling, set to roll out next month, has taken too long to achieve.

She said: "I welcome a further increase to the Scottish child payment but it cannot be ignored that it took too long to raise it to £20 in the first place.

"So long, that the government stands here today telling us that it will increase the payment to £25 when families are still waiting to reach £20 and that won't happen until April."

She accused the Scottish Government of merely "tinkering around the edges" and bringing forward "small piecemeal changes" instead of "bold and ambitious actions".

Ms Duncan-Glancey added: "At a time when we needed ambition and a government hungry for change, the SNP and Greens Government have given us nothing by complacency."