The Scottish government needs to display "bolder ambition" if it is to meet targets for tackling child poverty, a new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said.
In its Poverty In Scotland 2020 report, the JRF said that "poverty has been rising and we are not on course to meet interim child poverty targets within three years".
About a million people in Scotland were in poverty "living precarious and insecure lives" even before Covid hit. In many cases the pandemic will "have swept them deeper into poverty, as well as dragging others under", it added.
The report warned of the impact of ending the furlough scheme at the end of this month, coupled with the withdrawal of temporary higher benefits payments in April, saying it was "clear" this will make poverty higher.
The report went on: "This is because unemployment will be higher, working hours and earnings may be falling, benefits would be reduced back to pre-coronavirus levels while housing costs will be no lower. Such a situation would be deeply worrying, not just in the context of interim child poverty targets three years away, but in the daily lives of people who face being swept further and deeper into poverty."