The SNP has said the Tory government is "pushing people into poverty" - as new figures show the number of people living in poverty across the UK has risen to 14.4million.

Official statistics released by the UK Department for Work and Pensions show the number of people estimated to be in relative low income (below 60% of average household income) has risen by 1 million, from 13.4million in March 2021 to 14.4 million as of March 2022. 

The figures show the number of children living in poverty has also risen by more than 300,000 in a year - from 3.9million in March 2021 to 4.2million in March 2022.

Responding to the news, poverty charities have hit out at UK government cuts, with the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) saying it is “inexcusable for ministers to sit on their hands” and warning Tory cuts to Universal Credit have plunged people into poverty.

Commenting Christina said:

"This out of control Tory government has pushed millions of families across these islands into poverty - highlight how vital it is for Scotland to escape Westminster control, eradicate poverty and build a strong, fair and prosperous future.

"On one hand we have the SNP government in Edinburgh which is boosting incomes with progressive policies like the Scottish Child Payment and on the other hand we have the Tories and a pro-Brexit Labour Party who seem committed to making people poorer by imposing brutal cuts, embracing a damaging Brexit all while mismanaging our economy.

"The UK government should finally use its reserved powers to tackle poverty - including by backing SNP calls to cut energy bills, increase Universal Credit payments, scrap the benefit cap, introduce a Real Living Wage, raise public sector pay by inflation, and deliver economic growth by rejoining the EU.

"Unfortunately with both the Tory and Labour Parties obsessed with Brexit and vicious public sector cuts, only independence can deliver the real change the people of Scotland need."