Response to Chancellor's Statement
The measures the Chancellor set out today do not go nearly far enough. There are only five weeks to go until the end of the furlough scheme, and businesses have already taken difficult decisions. They deserve greater certainty and time to plan. Analysis suggests 61,000 jobs would be saved if the furlough scheme was extended, and regrettably it seems that his new scheme will not provide the support that was hoped for.
The new plans don't take account of local situations, sectoral needs and appear to be inflexible and all coming at significant cost to business.
In Scotland, our Government is responding to COVID-19 without the fiscal levers we require. Not only is the UK Government denying us the appropriate financial powers needed to fully respond to the pandemic, it has also removed any clarity about how much funding we will receive by now deciding to scrap this autumn’s UK Budget.
This will be a challenging winter period, with Covid, the Brexit cliff edge, and the announcement from the Chancellor simply does not go far enough, in that context.