INVERCLYDE'S MP is demanding an immediate extension of the UK government's furlough job retention scheme in order to prevent a 'tidal wave' of unemployment.

Ronnie Cowan says he is making the call to Chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of next month's Budget amid 'mounting warnings' from industry bodies.

Mr Cowan said: "The SNP has repeatedly pushed for an extension to the furlough scheme for as long as necessary — rather than arbitrary deadlines or last-ditch u-turns that come too late for many.

"It is absolutely critical the UK Government heeds the calls ahead of the UK Budget and not only extends the furlough scheme, but brings forward a meaningful financial package to ensure a strong recovery."