The SNP has said the Tory government must do more to save jobs and businesses - as Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysis reveals there has been unprecedented demand for Universal Credit since the coronavirus crisis began.
The ONS figures, released this morning, show that from 1st March to 16th June 2020, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) received 3.3 million individual declarations and 1 million new claim advances to Universal Credit.
Kirsten Oswald MP said the figures underlined the need to retain the coronavirus financial support schemes for as long as all four nations need them - and to expand support for unemployed people by strengthening welfare protections.
The SNP Work, Pensions and Inclusion spokesperson also called for the Tory government to rule-out a return to austerity and ensure the Scottish Parliament has the financial powers and funds necessary to secure a strong recovery in Scotland.
Yesterday, the Fraser of Allander institute warned a second wave of covid-19 could delay Scotland's recovery until 2024 - and said the scale of the economic challenge could see a “raft of redundancies and business closures” without financial support.
Commenting, Kirsten Oswald MP (pictured) said:
“There is a very real danger that if the Tory government withdraws financial support too early then unemployment could soar even further and more businesses could go under. “It is crucial that the Coronavirus financial support schemes continue for as long as required by each of the four UK nations - and that welfare protections are strengthened so that unemployed people get the help they need.
“The UK faces the worst health and economic emergency in decades.
“If we are to avoid prolonged damage, the Scottish Parliament must have the financial powers and funds necessary to fuel a strong recovery and protect Scotland's budget. “Scotland can make different choices for an investment-led recovery - but we can only do it with the borrowing powers and access to capital needed to stimulate our economy and protect jobs.
“The SNP will continue to press for the powers and funds the Scottish Parliament needs to help people through this unprecedented emergency.
“The Tories must not put Scotland's recovery at risk by withholding them.”