Perthshire North MSP John Swinney has described the rise in poverty in Perth and Kinross as “worrying”.
A recent council report showed one in three residents were in or on the edge of poverty.
The deputy first minister and Covid recovery secretary believes the figures show the “very real damage that the pandemic has caused”.
According to Perth and Kinross Council’s education improvement plan, poverty in the region has increased over the pandemic.
Swinney said: “The latest figures emerging from across Perth and Kinross are worrying, and reflect the very real damage that the pandemic has caused.
“The SNP were re-elected to government in no small part due to the strong action that we have taken to eradicate poverty, and our bold proposals to continue to address this issue.
“With policies such as the extension of free school meals to all primary pupils and the doubling of the child payment to £20 per week – a payment that more than 4800 children across the region are eligible for and that has been described as a ‘game changer’ in the fight against poverty – we will continue to take meaningful steps to help families across Perthshire recover from the pandemic.”
By local democracy reporter Kathryn Anderson