Alex Salmond has unveiled his party’s five-point plan to end child poverty.
The former first minister announced the poorest families would be given a £500 annual payment under the Alba Party proposals, as well as highlighting previous pledges to increase the education maintenance allowance and the Scottish Child Payment, extend free school meals and make sports facilities free for young people.
The £500 payment, the party says, will be made to every family receiving the council tax reduction for low earners, estimated at 500,000 homes.
Announcing the move, Mr Salmond said poverty is a “political scandal”, and he called on Holyrood to take “bold and radical action”.
He added: “Covid has shown us, in the starkest way possible, the division in our society between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.
“Covid did not create these divisions but it has exacerbated them. As the country recovers from the pandemic it is time for Scotland to think big about the kind of country we want to be.
“It is time to rebalance our nation’s priorities in favour of people who have the least and for those communities who have been left behind for far too long.
“The levels of poverty in Scotland are a political scandal and Parliament must now take bold and radical action to ensure that such inequality is no longer accepted by politicians in the Scottish Parliament.
“These five specific targeted measures represent a step-change in addressing poverty and each one will make a real and meaningful difference to the lives of children and families across the country.”
Alba has pledged to quadruple the Scottish Child Payment from £10 to £40 per week, double education maintenance allowance from £30 to £60 per week and remove attendance requirements, extend free school meals to all pupils in secondary and primary schools, and allow universal access to sports facilities for those under 18.