Almost 13,000 furloughed in Scottish Borders

New figures released by HMRC show almost 13,000 Borderers are having 80% of their wages paid by the UK Government.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was brought in to save jobs which would have been otherwise lost due to lockdown restrictions.

Analysis shows that around 1 in 4 workers in the Scottish Borders are furloughed. At the end of 2019 there were 54,700 people working in the area, meaning 23.4% have benefitted from the CJRS.

Local MP, John Lamont, has welcomed the figures and praised the quick action of the Chancellor and HMRC.

John Lamont MP said: “This historic intervention by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has ensured that thousands of people still have a job to return to, despite the problems caused by coronavirus. It is reassuring that so many businesses and employees have been able to make use of this scheme.

“The UK Government is doing whatever it takes to get the Scottish Borders, Scotland and the whole country through this crisis. I am grateful to the hard work of civil servants and ministers for putting these packages in place so quickly.

“Nevertheless, I am very aware of the economic hit that will come from the pandemic. Unfortunately, we have already seen some indication from Borders businesses that there will be challenging times ahead.”

The Secretary of State for Scotland, Rt Hon Alister Jack MP added: “So far, nearly 800,000 jobs across Scotland have been saved by direct UK Government coronavirus support. Through the job retention scheme 628,200 Scottish jobs have been furloughed, and the UK Government has spent £425 million on supporting 146,000 self-employed people in Scotland

“In the South of Scotland alone that amounts to more than 28,000 jobs saved. Rural communities such as ours face particular challenges and I’m very pleased that the UK Government has been able to step in.