CHILD poverty among lone parent families is rising rapidly compared to those in two parent homes according to a new report.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Poverty 2018 report found poverty among one parent families is rising four times as much as two parent households.

The report found nearly half of children in lone-parent families live in poverty (49%) compared with one in four of those in couple families (25%).

But it is the increase over the last five years that is alarming for single parents and campaigners.

The study found that lone parent poverty increased from 42% to 49% over half a decade for children in lone-parent families, and from 23% to 25% for children in couple families.

The rise has been put down to barriers to employment and disadvantages in the workplace faced by many lone parents.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation report stated lone parents are disproportionately likely to be low paid, and at every qualification level are more likely to be low paid than similarly qualified parents in couples.

Lone parents are also more concentrated in employment sectors with high levels of low pay.

One Parent Families Scotland said the report showed what they experienced.

Satwat Rehman, Director OPFS, said: “The research in the JRF report ties in with our own findings about the ‘Single-Parent Penalty’ and sadly comes as no surprise. Poverty restricts people’s lives in multiple ways and single parent families are disproportionately affected with almost twice as many of the children living in poverty compared with those in couple families.

She added that action was needed to make a difference.

She said: “We need to turn compassion into action. We need to put this situation right so that single parent families have a decent standard of living that allows them to grow and progress in their lives. Poverty exists in Scotland and affects us all, it restricts people’s ability to take part in society, and it can be solved by boosting incomes and reducing costs of living.”

Labour said the JRF report should be a spur for Scottish Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, to deliver a budget later this month to take people out of poverty.