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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Prime Minister Facing a Winter of Discontent

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SNP MPs have called on the Prime Minister to U-turn on his refusal to extend the furlough scheme and protect hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Leader Ian Blackford MP said Boris Johnson was facing a “winter of discontent” with 1 million jobs at risk if furlough ends early; £30 billion a year bill to the taxpayer from a no-deal Brexit, and potentially 7,000 trucks queuing for days at Dover. 

SNP Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Neil Gray MP said as yet, the UK government has not offered support as we move into this new phase of restrictions for businesses.

Patrick Grady MP reminded Boris Johnson that Westminster refused to devolve financial powers to the Scottish Parliament – and it has the responsibility to protect jobs, not cut off furlough support.

Mr Blackford said the First Minister had shown leadership during this pandemic, however the responsibility and powers for extending the furlough scheme lie with the Prime Minister and his Chancellor, and they must announce an immediate extension – “no half-measures, no half-baked projects” – to this vital and lifesaving scheme.

Ian Blackford MP said:

“The first step to any recovery is admitting there is a problem.

“Even the Governor of the Bank of England is telling the Prime Minister to ‘stop and rethink’.

“The solution for millions of people right now is an extension to the furlough scheme beyond October.

“The alternative is putting 61,000 jobs in Scotland at risk.

“Yesterday the only reassurance the Prime Minister gave those Scottish workers was saying that he would “throw his arms” around them.

“I can tell you, the last thing those 61,000 Scots are looking for is a hug from Boris Johnson. 

“They need the security of knowing that they can hold on to their jobs and incomes – for themselves and for their families.

“Time is running out, workers are facing the dole now.

“The Prime Minister must instruct the Chancellor today to extend the furlough scheme to stop hundreds of thousands of workers being left unemployed and destitute.”

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