EAST Renfrewshire's MP has urged the Prime Minister to extend support being offered to freelance and self-employed workers.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is due to expire on Sunday, May 31, while the Job Retention Scheme has already been extended until October, although with some of the cost now being funded by employers.

That prompted Kirsten Oswald to write to Boris Johnson, asking him to step in.

Ms Oswald said: "The payment period for this self-employed and freelance support concludes this week, so a decision is needed now. It is simply not good enough for the Prime Minister to attempt to kick this into the long grass when there is a clear and pressing need for answers.

“Self-employed workers contribute very significantly to the economy and to the sustainability of local communities such as those in East Renfrewshire. If the Prime Minister does not extend the SEISS, these self-employed workers will face a financial cliff edge.

“It must also be a major concern that this scheme may end whilst all four nations in the UK are at the beginning of transitioning out of lockdown, with none of them, including England, yet in a position to support a significant return to work without risking an increase in the spread of Covid-19.

"Allowing this scheme to simply end on Sunday would be utterly irresponsible.”

SEISS offers grants worth up to 80 per cent of average trading profits for those who are self-employed and unable to work because of the lockdown.

It is paid in a single instalment, capped at £7,500, to cover three months of lost income.

The Treasury has said that around £7billion has been claimed through some 2.3 million SEISS applications.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister added: "In terms of the self-employed, there's significant financial support already available through the self-employed income support scheme.

"Depending on their individual circumstances, someone who is self-employed may be able to claim Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance.

"They can also use other support, such as mortgage holidays and additional support for renters."