THE SNP has accused the UK Government of a "miserly response" after David Cameron rejected calls to accept an extra 3,000 child refugees despite a multi-million pound new aid package.

The Prime Minister defended the plans, arguing that it would be wrong to create incentives for unaccompanied children fleeing Syria and other conflicts to make the dangerous journey to Europe.

"No country in Europe has done more than Britain to help with the Syrian refugee crisis," he said.

"I think it is right our approach to take refugees from the region, not encouraging them to make the difficult, potentially lethal, journey to Europe.

"Our approach is compassionate, it is generous and I think it is right."

The SNP, Labour and the Lib Dems have all backed calls for the UK to take in 3,000 of the estimated 26,000 child refugees now in Europe.

No 10 refused to say how many would be helped under the new plans.

UK officials will work with the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) to identify children in Syria and Afghanistan who could be brought to the UK.

They will also liaise with Greece and Italy to identify vulnerable unaccompanied children and orphans in both countries who might have a direct family link to the UK.

A total of £10m will be provided to provide blankets and medicines for refugee children already in Europe.

Save the Children, which led the calls for the UK to take at least 3,000 child refugees, initially hailed the move.

But later a spokesman said: "We want the Government pro-actively to seek out refugee children in Europe with family connections in the UK and speed up the process of reunification."

Steve Symonds, of Amnesty International, said that that the move was a welcome "small step" but would not help children stranded in camps like those in Calais in France.

"It offers little hope to refugee children already in Europe, including the ones living in squalid camps like those in Calais and Dunkirk, who don't have close family members in the UK," he said.

Labour said that it was wrong to distinguish between children inside and outside Europe, while Lib Dem leader Tim Farron called the response “pitiful”.

Scottish Minister for Europe and International Development Humza Yousaf said that the announcement was “not nearly enough and will do nothing to address the very pressing issue of the 26,000 young people estimated to now be in Europe”.

He added that his government would continue to urge the UK Government to do more, saying that Scotland was willing to do “its part” .

SNP MP Stuart McDonald said the new package was a “pretty pathetic and miserly response”.

He added: “Instead of asking how much can we do to help, the Prime Minister’s approach seems to be 'how little can I get away with doing'."