John Lamont MP and Rachael Hamilton MSP have highlighted the number of local jobs still being supported by the UK Government’s furlough scheme.
With the scheme now starting to be scaled back, there was a fall across Scotland in the number of employees estimated to be furloughed at the end of May, with 173,100 jobs being protected by the UK Government, down from 269,800 in April.
Both Borders parliamentarians say it is welcome more people are returning to work as restrictions continuing to ease, while in turn critical economic support remains in place from the UK Government.
The latest statistics show that at the end of May, the UK Treasury were still protecting 3,300 across the Borders through the furlough scheme, while a total of 17,500 have been protected since March 2020.
Both Mr Lamont and Mrs Hamilton say the UK Government have stepped up at every turn to support vital jobs and livelihoods across the Borders throughout the crisis. By contrast, SNP Ministers have failed to engage with businesses and been slow to get funding out the door to them.
John Lamont MP said:
“It is reassuring that the UK Government has supported so many local jobs here in the Borders through the furlough scheme.
“Where the SNP has often been slow to deliver, the UK Government has stepped up to protect people’s livelihoods
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Chancellor has announced a huge package of support for employed and self-employed people across the UK. In total, this has amounted to over £300 billion.
“I am pleased that many Borderers have been able to benefit from these UK Government schemes, and continue to do so in our recovery from the pandemic.”
Rachael Hamilton MSP said:
“The furlough scheme has been a tremendous success in ensuring that hardworking employees and their families have been supported throughout this pandemic.
“It is the broad shoulders of the United Kingdom, pooling our economic resources together, which has provided unprecedented financial support at this time of crisis.
“As we begin to leave restrictions behind, the priority is recovery and the need to rebuild, reskill and create new jobs for young people.
“So far we have seen a lack of vision from the SNP Government on how to take Scotland forward post-pandemic.
“The UK Government’s generous support sits in stark contrast to the SNP in Edinburgh, who have failed to pass on all of the funding earmarked for Scottish businesses.
“If Scotland had been independent, there simply would have not been the same means available to support a successful furlough scheme.”