The Chancellor of the Exchequer has extended the furlough scheme until the end of March 2021 which will help protect thousands of jobs across the Borders. The extension means employees will get 80% of their hours not worked paid for by the UK Government, up to £2,500 per month.
The new announcement will also see the self-employment income support grant increase to 80% of average profits up to £7,500.
The Scottish Government is also set to receive an extra £1bn pounds, taking the total extra funding given to the Scottish Government to £8.2bn since the beginning of the pandemic.
Over 930,000 jobs have been protected as part of the furlough scheme in Scotland, with 123,000 people currently furloughed.
126,000 people in Scotland have benefitted from the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
John Lamont MP said: “The furlough scheme has been a vital lifeline for tens of thousands of jobs here in the Borders. The self-employment scheme has also ensured that those who are self employed have had their incomes protected as well.
“Through pressure from the Scottish Conservatives, the Chancellor has extended both schemes. This will give much needed certainty and peace of mind to businesses and their employees.
“Furlough will be extended until March, meaning that the scheme will have been supporting jobs for a full year by the time it comes to an end.
“The Scottish Government budget will now receive by an extra £1bn and it is vitally important they get this extra funding out to Scottish businesses and those who need it as quickly as possible to ensure jobs continue to be protected.”
Rachael Hamilton MSP said: “Once again, the UK Conservative Government has delivered unprecedented support through an extended furlough and self-employment scheme.
“As we continue to endure the pandemic, the extension until March will continue to support and protect Borders’ jobs through the winter.
“The extra £1 billion of UK funding direct to the Scottish Government budget must be administered properly to ensure we can save as many businesses and jobs as possible.
“The SNP cannot sit on their hands, they must set out which sectors will benefit from the new funding and I urge them to do this in earnest”
“The SNP must now play their part to stimulate the Scottish economy and commit to re-training people who have lost their jobs. They need to respond to the employment market by creating new jobs in areas such as social care to meet the demands of the elderly population or in new green jobs to help transition businesses across the Borders to meet net-zero targets”.
Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer said: “I’ve always said I would do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK - and that has meant adapting our support as the path of the virus has changed.
“Extending furlough and increasing our support for the self-employed will protect millions of jobs and give people and businesses the certainty they need over what will be a difficult winter.”