Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, has today urged the UK Government to ensure that Scotland has full access to the furlough scheme at any point during the COVID pandemic.
Mr Swinney’s comments come after it was revealed that the UK Government will extend the furlough scheme until December 2nd to coincide with a national lockdown in England, but had refused to make it available to devolved administrations should they be required to take similar steps in the future.
Commenting, Mr Swinney said:
“The UK Government’s stance on furlough support is outrageous and indefensible.
“In a so-called United Kingdom, the ability of all three of the devolved administrations to handle a pandemic is being knowingly damaged by a UK Government that seems to only concern itself with the plight of England.
“Businesses and workers across Perthshire are contacting my office on a daily basis to emphasise the need for the furlough scheme to continue. If the UK Government refuses to offer Scotland access to this vital lifeline in the event of a future lockdown, it will be evidence of a complete disregard for businesses and families across the region and Scotland as a whole.
“True to form, Perthshire Tory politicians have been completely silent on this matter. It is past time that they put the needs of Perthshire families ahead of their desire to tow the Westminster party line. Accordingly, they must publicly condemn the UK Government’s stance and put pressure on their colleagues to reverse their hugely damaging position.”