Anas Sarwar has pledged to introduce a Scottish child tax credit with aim of lifting 50,000 children out of poverty if he wins the Labour leadership contest.
The MSP said that a means-tested payment targeted at the poorest households in the country would see every family in receipt of UK Child Tax Credit receive an extra £10-per-week, per child.
Mr Sarwar, who is up against left-wing candidate Richard Leonard in the race to take charge of the Scottish party, claimed it was the “most radical policy offer” put forward so far in the leadership contest.
He said: ““The new Scottish Child Tax Credit will reduce child poverty by nearly a fifth, and will be very deliberately targeted at the poorest households in our country.
“The last Labour government across the UK introduced tax credits, and the Tories tried to take them away.
“Unlike the SNP I am prepared to use Holyrood’s new powers to build a better future for the next generation of Scots.
“But that can only happen if Labour stops talking to itself and starts talking to the country, so that we can win elections once again.”
An SNP spokesman said: “It’s good to see Anas Sarwar move on from defending his family firm’s failure to pay the real Living Wage to now pledging to support those most in need.
“But when Anas Sarwar was last in the Labour leadership team, his party opposed giving Scotland the full powers needed to effectively tackle child poverty – leaving vital powers in the hands of a cruel Tory government. Given his party’s track record, people across Scotland will once again doubt his sincerity.”