POVERTY-stricken newly self employed people in Inverclyde who 'fall between the cracks' of a financial support scheme have effectively been abandoned by the Scottish Government.

Officials have conceded that cases highlighted in talks with council officers showed that individuals are missing out on a £2,000 grant, but insisted there will be no review of the matter.

Now the local authority is to send a letter, signed by leader Stephen McCabe, to the government following a call by SNP group chief Chris McEleny to have the issue 'elevated'.

The matter revolves around a scheme called the Newly Self Employed Hardship Fund (NSEHF) which is designed to support initiatives introduced by the UK Government.

A report to the council's governing policy and resources executive sub-committee states: "The [Scottish Government] officer acknowledged that the cases highlighted did demonstrate that some people may fall into cracks.

"At this stage there was no intention to amend the current scheme."

It is understood that people have been ruled ineligible for the money because they are in receipt of Universal Credit, which has a top rate of £409 per month for an individual aged over 25.

Councillor McEleny described the Scottish Government's response as 'disappointing', adding: "I hope the committee would be willing to elevate this to a political level now.

"We have cracks in Inverclyde that people are falling into and Scottish Government officers have conceded that principle, so I think a policy decision should be made so that these cracks get filled in."

Regeneration and planning director Stuart Jamieson said: "Councillor McEleny is absolutely correct, there was no willingness on their [the Scottish Government's] part to reconsider their position.

"Indeed, they advised us that the NSEHF could be closing relatively soon."

Council leader Mr McCabe said: "I'm more than happy if the committee wants to agree that officers draft a letter and I put my name to it."

The committee agreed for an urgent letter to be sent to Scottish Government on the matter.