South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has warned that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s economic package of measures announced earlier today (Wednesday) won’t scratch the surface of the economic tsunami battering the south of Scotland.
The Chancellor announced several measures designed to help the UK in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Colin Smyth said: “Massive intervention was needed by the Chancellor due to the slowness of Government to tackle a health crisis, which has turned it into an economic crisis but sadly what has been announced falls short of what was needed.
“The proposals announced will simply not scratch the surface of the economic tsunami that is battering the area.
“We didn’t get the back to work budget needed and I suspect the Chancellor will be forced to come back in a few weeks to announce more action as the economy goes into a deep recession.
“The decision not to extend the furlough scheme for sectors such as tourism and hospitality and others that won’t need staff to fully return for some time, is a massive real blow to this area.
“That decision will mean there will be more redundancies as the scheme begins to be reduced, and ultimately ended, in October.
“The furlough scheme should have been extended for some sectors until next year but instead what we now see many companies who can’t afford to pay workers lay people off, adding to the already record high level of unemployment.
“There are also gaps in grant schemes for businesses and many have lost out locally. That’s why I’ll continue to put pressure on both the Scottish and UK Governments and their agencies to bring forward new grant schemes, including a dedicated South of Scotland scheme to allow local flexibility in how that is allocated.”