ALBA candidate Chris McEleny is promising more money for 10,000 families in Inverclyde to fight child poverty.

The local councillor says if the party would use existing powers to make an annual payment of £500 to those on the lowest income.

As council group leader of the SNP he campaigned for free school meals for all primary school children but says more needs to be done to help high school pupils as well.

Cllr McEleny said: "Children are living in poverty because their parents are living in poverty.

"We need to put more money into households.

"We can do that right now in the Scottish Parliament."

As the focus moves towards Covid-19 recovery there is a renewed focus on the level of deprivation locally.

Mr McEleny told the Tele: "The deprivation we have faced has been tolerated for too long in Inverclyde.

"Coronavirus didn’t cause deprivation in our area, it exacerbated it and exposed the health inequalities caused by deprivation.

"There are targeted measures the new Scottish Parliament can take right away to help improve the lives of so many.

"Putting £500 into the pockets of 10,000 households in Inverclyde would signal a step change in rebalancing the country's priorities.

"The levels of deprivation in Inverclyde should be a political scandal, but year after year we hear not a single word spoken about it in the Scottish Parliament.

"It’s time to shake things up and start demanding more investment in our communities."