Boris Johnson must deliver a full extension to the coronavirus job protection scheme, and devolve financial powers to the Scottish Parliament – warning the Tory government’s partial local U-turn is not enough to prevent mass redundancies.
Following the Prime Minister’s statement to Parliament this afternoon, Ian Blackford MP said the Tory government was “not doing enough” to prevent thousands of jobs and good businesses being lost unnecessarily – and urged the Prime Minister to announce a full extension to the furlough scheme instead of scrapping it at the end of the month.
The SNP Westminster Leader said the UK government had “hindered” the Scottish Parliament’s ability to respond to the crisis, by cutting back financial support and blocking the devolution of financial powers – and said the only way to properly protect Scotland’s economy is to become an independent country.
Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said:
“Boris Johnson is not doing enough to prevent a wave of mass redundancies, which will come if the Tory government goes ahead with its reckless plan to scrap the furlough scheme this month.
“The SNP has been calling for a full extension to furlough support, and the devolution of financial powers, for more than six months.
“The Prime Minister must make an urgent U-turn – or thousands of people will lose their jobs unnecessarily and many good businesses will go under.
“Scotland shouldn’t have to wait for Westminster to act.
“By cutting financial support and blocking devolution, the Tory government has hindered the Scottish Parliament’s ability to respond to this unprecedented crisis – and put Scotland’s recovery at risk.
“For some it is already too late – many people across the UK have already been made redundant.
“That is why it is vital that the UK government increases support for the unemployed, and those who have seen their incomes cut – including by making the £20 uplift in Universal Credit payments permanent.
“The SNP will continue to press for a full job protection scheme, support for the unemployed, and for the forgotten millions left behind – but it is clearer than ever, that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s economy is with the full powers of an independent country.”