Angela Crawley MP has said the Tory government must deliver “full furlough replacement funds” for Scotland, and the other devolved nations, if it goes ahead with its reckless plans to scrap the Job Retention Scheme at the end of the month.
Responding to reports the Chancellor might deliver extra funds for English regions in the face of increased coronavirus restrictions, Angela Crawley MP said any financial support for regions in England must also be available for Scotland on the basis of need as well as Barnett consequentials, including localised access to full furlough support.
The local MP said the Tory decision to scrap the furlough scheme was a “grave mistake” and warned the UK government not to “pull the plug” on Scottish jobs and businesses by withdrawing financial support in the middle of a worsening pandemic. At the height of the pandemic, over 12,000 people living in Lanark and Hamilton East accessed the furlough scheme and around 15% of Scottish jobs are currently being protected by it.
Commenting, Angela said:
“The Tory government is threatening to pull the plug on thousands of Scottish jobs and businesses by withdrawing financial support in the middle of a worsening pandemic.
“The Chancellor’s reckless plan to scrap the furlough scheme in three weeks’ time is a grave mistake, which would cause lasting harm to Scotland’s economy – including our hospitality, culture and tourism sectors.
“It is vital the UK government delivers full furlough replacement funds for Scotland, and the other devolved nations, not half-baked measures that will slash the incomes of millions of people and cause unemployment to soar.
“Any financial support for regions in England must be available to Scotland on the basis of need as well as Barnett consequentials, and include localised access to full furlough support.
“Scotland shouldn’t have to wait for Westminster to act. The Tory government has deliberately withheld funds and blocked the devolution of financial powers needed to save jobs – leaving Scotland to respond to this crisis with one hand tied behind our backs.
“If Westminster is unwilling to do what is required to protect Scottish jobs and businesses, it will demonstrate the only way to protect Scotland’s economy is to become an independent country.”