New figures show the extent of UK Government coronavirus support for Borders jobs and self-employed people.
Both Rachael Hamilton MSP and John Lamont MP have welcomed the figures which shows the positive impact of the unprecedented UK-wide coronavirus assistance.
Until the end of June, nearly 900,000 jobs across Scotland have been protected by the UK Government’s package of coronavirus support.
In the Borders, 14,500 people were furloughed and supported by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, with £14.7 million paid out to 4,900 self-employed workers.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has furloughed 736,500 Scottish workers. This is an increase of more than 100,000 jobs since the end of May. The UK Government has also spent £449 million on supporting 155,000 self-employed people in Scotland through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
The UK Government has pledged to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of October, with flexible part-time furloughing starting at the beginning of July to support businesses as the economy starts to reopen.
The Borders politicians have made it clear that the extraordinary job support was only possible due to the pooling and sharing of resources across the United Kingdom.
Rachael Hamilton MSP said:
“The UK Government has supported almost 900,000 jobs in Scotland so far through our unprecedented package of UK-wide coronavirus assistance.
“Further to this an extra £4.6 billion was allocated to the Scottish Government for coronavirus funding.
“The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has saved many hundreds of thousands of jobs here in Scotland, and it just shows how important being part of the United Kingdom is to Scotland.
“Let me be clear, an independent Scotland would not have had the resources to deal with this crisis, and many more jobs would have been lost.
“Now we must focus minds on rebuilding the economy, and I welcome earlier UK Government announcements on massive infrastructure investment and the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme to help hospitality businesses”.
John Lamont MP said:
“The figures are staggering. It really shows the difficulties our economy would have been in had this support from the UK Government not been forthcoming. Almost 30% of employees in the Scottish Borders have been furloughed.
“The unprecedented challenges of coronavirus have been met with an unprecedented package of support from the broad shoulders of the UK Government.
“Don’t get me wrong, I know there are many challenges ahead, including keeping people in work after these schemes have come to an end. That’s why I very much welcome the £1000 bonus for those companies who can keep their employees in work long term.”