Rachael Hamilton MSP and John Lamont MP have highlighted the ongoing economic support being provided by the UK Government through the furlough scheme.
It shows the UK Government are continuing to step up at every turn to protect vital jobs and livelihoods across the Borders as restrictions continue to ease.
The latest figures show that at the end of March, the UK Treasury were continuing to protect 6,300 jobs in the Borders through the furlough scheme. Since the scheme began last year, it has supported 17,400 Borderers.
Across Scotland, there are currently 225,100 people fully furloughed and 102,000 partially furloughed.
Both Borders parliamentarians say the furlough scheme, alongside other economic support, has shown the strength of the United Kingdom during a time in crisis. By contrast, SNP Ministers have continually failed to get vital grants out to businesses during the Covid pandemic.
As the country emerges from the pandemic, the Scottish Conservatives want to see a £500 Retrain to Rebuild grant to kick-start a skills revolution and Rapid Retraining Courses tailored at delivering more employment opportunities which will help retain jobs in the Borders.
Rachael Hamilton said:
“Ever since the pandemic began, the UK Government’s furlough scheme has stepped up to protect vital jobs and livelihoods across the Borders.
“While the extraordinary success of the UK Government’s vaccination scheme means we are looking towards the end of the health crisis, we are facing a looming economic crisis. That is why it is so important the furlough scheme was extended until the end of September by the UK Government.
“The furlough scheme, alongside support for the self-employed and billions worth of business loans has shown the strength of pooling our resources together across the United Kingdom in a time of crisis. The furlough scheme is still protecting 6,300 jobs in the Scottish Borders.
“As we turn to recovery, I want to see a focus on retaining existing jobs and a drive to bring new employment opportunities to the Borders.
“Sadly, SNP Ministers have been too slow throughout this crisis in delivering vital funding to businesses in the Borders. All our focus must be on our recovery and rebuilding our communities in Borders rather than obsessing over another referendum.”
John Lamont MP said:
“Rishi Sunak’s furlough scheme has been vital over the last 14 months in protecting jobs, and will continue to protect jobs across the Borders for months to come.
“When I talk to businesses they are very clear that without this scheme there would have been unprecedented levels of redundancies right across our economy.
“With over 17,000 people in the Borders benefitting from the scheme, the economic fallout had this not been in place would have been catastrophic.
“Nevertheless, hard times are ahead for jobs and businesses. It is important that Covid-19 restrictions and business support takes into consideration their needs.”