The UK Government must urgently reintroduce the furlough scheme so that Scotland can take protective measures against the omicron variant whilst protecting jobs, Scottish Greens MSP Ariane Burgess (pictured) has said.
The funding is needed to support workers and businesses already suffering due to a significant loss in trade and closures caused by local outbreaks, as well as allowing devolved governments to take public safety measures to stop the spread of the new strain of the virus.
Without economic support, the options available to the Scottish and Welsh governments and Northern Irish Executive are more limited.
Scottish Greens Highlands and Islands MSP Ariane Burgess said:
“The UK Government has an utterly chaotic approach to COVID, with confusing messages undermined by the Prime Minister himself failing to follow the rules.
“Omicron is spreading fast and the UK Government must recognise the clear risks to vulnerable people and act decisively.
“The festive period is already disrupted, with many people cancelling plans for gatherings and hospitality businesses across the Highlands and Islands are struggling.
“It’s time for the UK Government to act responsibly and reintroduce furlough where it is needed.
“Self-employed people could be particularly effected this Christmas, so it’s vital those who missed out last time are included in the scheme, and that sick pay is enhanced to make it easier for people to self-isolate”