ASKING THE CHANCELLOR ABOUT THOSE EXCLUDED FROM COVID SUPPORT: 22nd October 2020
Today, I asked Rishi Sunak what he planned to do to support the millions who remain excluded from his schemes. I know that many East Renfrewshire residents fall within these excluded groups, and that there are peope all over the country who had hoped for some positive news, to be met with continued silence - his answer was basically nothing - it just glossed over it all.
The Chancellor's political choices here are wrong-headed, and causing great harm. It's not clear to me why he doesn't accept that millions have been left out of his schemes and appreciate that damage this is causing to the and their families. It's equally unclear why he can't accept the need to extend furlough, as other countries are doing, to protect jobs and livelihoods.
The icing on the cake is that the Chancellor has now told the Scottish Government that todays’s announcements won’t deliver any upfront extra cash for Scotland beyond the welcome £700m announced recently, and he won’t confirm the range of extra spending beyond business support that it’s expected to pay for, or for how long. This matters in the context that Businesses in England have currently been given an open ended commitment to support for as long as required and the Scottish Government will wish to and be expected to match that for Scottish businesses, but with no confirmation that the money will be there to pay for it. Scotland has no borrowing powers to we can not take these actions independently. This is a wholly unacceptable and very damaging position, which is deeply unfair to Scottish businesses who deserve the same open ended commitment given to counterparts in England.