The SNP has said Rishi Sunak (pictured) must extend the furlough scheme and business rates freeze or risk causing another “wave of job losses”.
With the Tory government planning to phase out financial support for businesses and workers from 1st July, despite continued lockdown restrictions, Alison Thewliss MP warned businesses could be forced to make thousands of people redundant.
The SNP Shadow Chancellor said it was crucial that full furlough support at 80 per cent of wages, and the business rates freeze, are extended for as long as is necessary – including until covid restrictions are fully lifted.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said:
“The Tory Chancellor must not pull the plug on financial support for businesses and workers before covid restrictions are lifted, otherwise there will be a wave of job losses across the UK.
“When Rishi Sunak threatened to cut support prematurely last autumn, businesses began laying off workers – and by the time he made an eleventh-hour U-turn it was too late for many families who had already lost their jobs and livelihoods.
“The Tories have made the same damaging mistakes repeatedly throughout the pandemic – they must not do it again.
“There must be an immediate U-turn on these Tory cuts, before it is too late.
“Over a year into this pandemic, many businesses are really struggling with debt and rent arrears, and having to pay more wage costs may push them over the brink.
“It is critical that full furlough support at 80 per cent of wages, and the business rates freeze, are extended for as long as is required by each of the devolved nations – including until covid restrictions are fully lifted.
“Instead of withdrawing support prematurely, the Chancellor should boost funding for the economy with a major fiscal stimulus, of at least £100billion, to secure an investment-led recovery – like President Biden is doing in the United States.
“The Tories are intent on imposing another round of austerity cuts no matter the cost.
“It is increasingly clear the only way to keep Scotland safe is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to secure a strong, fair and equal recovery.”