Concrete Assurances Needed on Job Retention Scheme

The SNP has called for the UK government to provide concrete assurances that changes to the Job Retention Scheme will not result in people and businesses losing out on financial support.

SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss (pictured) cautiously welcomed the extension to the scheme – but called for clarification on the detail and urged the Chancellor to fix the gaps that remain.

Commenting, SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said:

“While I cautiously welcome this extension, it is crucial that the UK government fixes the serious gaps in the scheme and provides concrete assurances that any changes made will not result in people and businesses losing out on financial support.

“Many households and businesses are already struggling to get by – and will not be able to cope if the Tory government cuts the financial support available.

“The Chancellor must provide a guarantee that all furloughed workers will get at least eighty percent of their salary – even if businesses cannot afford to provide a contribution.

“Those businesses who cannot must not be forced to make redundancies or take on unmanageable debts.

“Crucially, the scheme must remain in place and fully funded for as long as each of the four nations of the UK require it.

“People in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland must not be penalised if changes to the lockdown are made at a different pace.

“The Chancellor must also extend the scheme to those who are not currently covered – including thousands of seasonal workers and the recently employed.

“The SNP will continue to press the UK government to fix the gaps and introduce a comprehensive financial package, including a guaranteed minimum income for everyone and strengthened welfare protections – so that no one is left behind.”