CHILD poverty in North Ayrshire is still on the rise, according to government figures.

A report by the Department of Work and Pensions, published last week, has revealed that that of all Scotland's local authorities, only Glasgow has more kids living below the breadline than North Ayrshire.

The stats break down the number of children aged 16 and under, living in relative and absolute low income families.

Overall the numbers in North Ayrshire in relative poverty rose from 6,436 in 2018 to 7,514 last year.

While the numbers in absolute poverty jumped from 5,300 to 5,951.

Relative low income is a measure of whether the poorest families are keeping pace with middle income households.

Absolute measures if the poorest families are keeping pace with inflation.

A separate breakdown for Irvine West shows the number of children in low income families - both relative and absolute - has jumped from 1,278 to 1,704 in the last eight years - an increase of a third.

In Irvine East the numbers rose from 760 to 999 in the same period, in Irvine South from 824 to 1,016, and in Kilwinning from 1,137 to 1,658 – a massive rise of 45 per cent.

Craig Crosthwaite, development manager with North Ayrshire Foodbank, said the figures reflect the increase in demand for their services in the 11 years since they were set up in 2012.

In that time the number of of food parcels provided to families has trebled from 3,000 in the first year to 9,000 in 2022.

The food bank puts on a holiday club for kids which guarantees them a hot meal at least once a day and provides benefits advice to parents to help them increase their income.

Craig added: "The figures do not surprise me. We have known about this for quite some time.

"There is a constant demand for our services and food parcels."

Overall 51 percent of children in North Ayrshire live on or below the breadline with Glasgow the highest at 57.5.

Clackmannanshire was the third highest with 46.3 percent in poverty while neighbouring East Ayrshire was fourth at at 45.3.

A total of 189,000 children live in low income families in Scotland

East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire had the lowest numbers of children in poverty at around ten percent.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We recognise too many people are living in poverty which is why we are committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in Scotland.

“In this financial year we have allocated almost £3 billion to a range of measures which will help mitigate the impacts of the cost of living crisis on households."