Analysis published by the Scottish Government Chief Economist Gary Gillespie suggests that Moray is the area in Scotland most exposed to job losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Rural local authorities, including Moray, have a higher share of jobs in the sectors most at risk, with 18,500 workers employed in those sectors locally.
Richard Lochhead MSP (pictured) is calling on the UK and Scottish Government to support the region to limit the economic damage and prevent large scale job losses in Moray.
Commenting Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said:
“The claim that Moray is the part of the country most exposed to Covid-19 related job losses is profoundly worrying and will lead to a great deal of anxiety in the local community.
“It also means that support from the UK and Scottish Government for our economy is going to be crucial to get us through this in the weeks and months ahead.
“This alarming analysis is against a backdrop of Moray also being one of the hardest hit areas of the whole of the UK from Brexit.
“That fact strengthens the case for the current Brexit transition period to be extended beyond the end of the year to help avoid a double whammy of massive economic shocks pole-axing our local economy.
“I make a plea to UK Ministers to help Moray in our hour of need given that a bad Brexit or a no deal Brexit caused by a stubborn UK Government, unwilling to negotiate over a longer period, is the last thing our economy needs.
“A key message from this is that we need everyone in Scotland and across these islands to stick by the health advice to allow us to get through Covid-19 sooner rather than later and to minimise the extent to which a major health crisis becomes a major economic crisis.
“I will be asking all the relevant agencies and public bodies to come together soon to discuss our response to this challenge, as well making representations to the UK and Scottish Governments so we can all work together to get through this to protect jobs and realise the great potential of our local economy.”