April 18, 2021

Nicola Sturgeon 'must not use furlough extension to put Scotland into lockdown', businesses warn

Nicola Sturgeon must not exploit the Chancellor’s extension of the furlough scheme until next March to put Scotland into full lockdown, business leaders have warned. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said a second lockdown north of the Border “can’t become more likely because of these financial changes” and urged Ms Sturgeon to stick with her new five-tier regional system. Andrew McRae, the business group’s policy chair, said that even with 80 per cent furlough a national lockdown “would cause devastating harm to businesses, workers and communities.” His intervention came after Rishi Sunak said his announcement demonstrated “the strength of the Union and an undeniable truth of this crisis we have only been able to provide this level of economic support because we are a United Kingdom.” The Chancellor also handed the SNP government an extra £1 billion to support businesses, taking their additional Covid-19 funding to £8.2 billion. Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader, welcomed the UK Government’s “massive financial backing” and said it had “blown the SNP’s grievances out of the water.” Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s deputy leader, welcomed the Chancellor’s “U-turn” and demanded the SNP get the extra money to businesses quickly “to prevent a tsunami of job losses this winter.”

Source:: https://news.yahoo.com/nicola-sturgeon-must-not-furlough-173301106.html