A GLASGOW councillor has called on the Scottish Government to extend free school meals to all primary school pupils.

Councillor Paul Carey has pleaded with Holyrood to provide funding to local authorities across the country to ensure every student will receive a free lunch.

The Labour politician insists families faced with financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic will slip through the net as they're above the earning cap to receive benefits.

Cllr Carey said: “Given the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic and many people have lost their jobs or seen their incomes greatly reduced, I'm calling on the Scottish Government to fund local authorities so we can extend free school meals to every child in primary school with the aspiration to extend it to the secondary schools in the future.

“We have a great deal of people that are on the breadline in this country - these are the people that we need to get to.

"They may be just a couple of pounds above the threshold, therefore, do not qualify for help for free school meals."

Currently, all pupils in primary one, two and three are entitled to a eat at the school's dining hall for free - regardless of their parents income.

While children in primary four and above only qualify for the meals if their parent or guardian is in receipt of certain benefits.

However, Cllr Carey fears hundreds of working families could be left to struggle if changes aren't made.

He added: “In order to help these people, we need to introduce free school meals for the primary schools as a matter of urgency and this government must fund it.

“In the decade under this government, the working class poor in this country have raised this and it is time that it is addressed and the first thing would be to introduce free school meals for the primary schools.”

It comes after the Glasgow Times previously revealed, Glasgow City Council schools would not be opting into the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Opposition councillors slammed the local authority for failing to offer pupils half price meals every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday due to the "administrative burden" for officers.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “We are committed to improving the wellbeing of our children and young people by giving them the best possible start in life.

"Targeting our resources to provide free school meals for the youngest school children gives them the opportunity to benefit from a nutritious meal at a crucial stage of their education.

“During the course of the current parliamentary session, the Scottish Government has also introduced a number of new measures to help ensure that Scotland’s children get the best start in life.

"This includes the baby box, which supports every family in Scotland during the crucial first few months of their child’s life, and the Best Start Grant which provides eligible low income families with payments at key transition points during the early years of the children’s lives.”