THERE was a rare occasion at Holyrood this week. A unanimous vote.

No it wasn’t on longer holidays for MSPs or a bumper pay rise.

What inspired the MSPs from the SNP, Labour, Tories, Greens and LibDems to come together as one was to pass a Child Poverty Bill.

The bill sets targets for reducing poverty by 2030. Fewer than 10% of children in relative poverty and fewer than 5% in absolute poverty.

Targets are good. They focus the mind of those with responsibility to actually achieve results and to work together to reduce poverty.

What is better than targets though is action and specifically actions that bring about results.

The type of action that stops children going hungry in the morning and lying freezing in their beds at night.

We have supposedly world leading legislation on tackling homelessness and on climate change.

But still we have an increase in the number of people sleeping rough and too many people trapped in temporary accommodation.

We also have among the highest air pollution in the UK in Glasgow city centre.

The targets agreed by MSPs are welcome and are certainly better than what has happened at Westminster where definitions of poverty have been tinkered with to make the situation look better than it is.

However the targets do not go far enough.

9% of children in relative poverty and 4% of children in absolute poverty would be seen as success in meeting the aims of the Bill.

That is 9% of children in relative poverty and 4% of children in absolute poverty too many.

And 2030 is more than 12 years away.

While throwing money at something is not always the best solution to a problem in the case of child poverty it can help bring about almost instant relief for many.

The Scottish Government can, if it chooses, increase Child Benefit under new social security powers.

The Give Me Five campaign backed by many children’s charities and anti-poverty campaigners, estimates a £5 a week increase would take 300,000 children out of poverty.

That is a long way towards achieving the targets.

That £5 can be the difference between a parent getting a meal or going without to feed their children.

It can be the difference between a child getting a breakfast in the morning and going to school hungry.

It can be the difference between a child having proper night’s sleep or lying in their beds at night freezing because the heating bill is too high.

Of course eradicating poverty will take much more than this. But while we are waiting for the structural long term changes government action will hopefully bring this simple measure can improve the lives of so many children who are suffering now.

Derek Mackay, the Finance Secretary will set his budget for 2018/19 next month and a lot depends on the settlement from the Chancellor later this month.

However, I am absolutely certain Derek Mackay wants to reduce and ultimately eradicate child poverty, of that I have no doubt.

This is one step he can take towards that goal.