THE SNP's election candidate for Inverclyde says the Scottish Government has not put the money needed into the area to tackle poverty properly.

Stuart McMillan admits he believes other places like Paisley and Glasgow have been given a better chance to deal with deprivation.

He has met with the finance secretary Kate Forbes to call for the district to receive a greater share of resources.

It follows the publication of damning figures last year which revealed how parts of Inverclyde are now the poorest places in the whole country.

Mr McMillan, who is bidding for a fourth term as an MSP at Holyrood, said: "My perception is that while areas in Paisley and Glasgow that were regularly falling to the bottom of the table were given direct support to tackle deprivation, other areas such as those in Inverclyde that weren’t the worst, but weren’t far off, have not.

“That’s why when I met with the finance secretary to put forward budget proposals for further investment in Inverclyde.

"I reiterated the need for a review into local deprivation so policies and finance can be deployed to address this issue."

Mr McMillan says the total funding package of £188m in 2021-22 for Inverclyde Council includes an extra £4.3 million to support vital day-to-day services and is equivalent to an increase of 2.4 per cent.

The finance secretary has now invited Mr McMillan to work with the government to look at the impact of deprivation in the district and review the situation.

He said: “During my term as Greenock and Inverclyde’s MSP, my meetings with Scottish ministers have been positive.

"They have listened to my concerns about deprivation and depopulation locally, and the issues that need addressed to improve our area."

Mr McMillan has also highlighted concerns around depopulation and welcomed a new taskforce and strategy on the issue.

He told the Telegraph: “Depopulation is another concern affecting Inverclyde, so I welcome the establishment of a Ministerial Population Taskforce and their population strategy.

“Many of the next steps contained within this strategy have the potential to entice people to relocate to Inverclyde to live and work, and provide opportunities for young people to encourage them to remain in the area.

"I’m determined to provide input into this work to ensure Inverclyde reaps maximum benefit."