The Tory government has come under further pressure over full furlough payments, at 80 per cent, being made available to Scotland whenever it is requested by the Scottish Government – after yet another Tory Minister refused to give a clear answer and rowed back on an earlier commitment made by Boris Johnson (pictured).
Despite being asked directly in Westminster today by the SNP’s Alison Thewliss if the Treasury will ensure that it will make full furlough support of 80% available to any part of the UK that requires it after the 2nd of December, Treasury Minister Stephen Barclay dodged the question entirely.
It follows a failure from the Prime Minister’s own spokesperson to confirm Johnson’s earlier pledge of full furlough support for devolved governments when requested – instead only vaguely talking of “economic support.”
Meanwhile, Tory Cabinet Minister Robert Jenrick also refused to give the same commitment as the Prime Minister – stating that it is a “decision that the Chancellor will have to make in the future.”
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said:
“The Tories’ handling of this has descended into an utter shambles – and they should apologise for sowing confusion among business right across Scotland.
“There must now be urgent clarity from the Tory government over full furlough payments, at 80 per cent, being made available to Scotland, whenever it is requested by the Scottish Government over the coming months.
“It is staggering that yet another Tory Minister has rowed back on Boris Johnson’s earlier commitment that full furlough support will be available to the devolved governments after December 2nd.
“The repeated refusal by Tory Ministers and the Prime Minister’s own spokesperson to confirm Boris Johnson’s earlier commitment is beyond shameful and is leaving devolved governments, businesses and workers in the dark at this critical time.
“This entire shambolic episode has also become a serious question of judgement for Douglas Ross, who has been left without a shred of credibility if commitments made to him are unravelling.
“His last-minute conversion to backing furlough will be seen as nothing less than opportunism and attempts to score political points.
“It’s clear beyond any doubt that Scotland’s interests have been completely ignored by this Tory government, and the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is to become an independent country.”