Tory Threat to Jobs Growing as Furlough Scheme Cut Prematurely

If Westminster won’t act Scotland must have powers to do it ourselves.

The SNP has renewed calls to extend the furlough scheme and devolve financial powers to the Scottish Parliament needed to protect jobs – as Pizza Express and Dixons Carphone become the latest companies to announce job losses amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

The news that up to 2,000 jobs could go at the leading companies follows 2,600 redundancies announced yesterday at the retail and gym chain DW Sports and tour operator Hays Travel.

Alison Thewliss MP (pictured) said the Tory government would “bear the blame” for thousands of job losses if it continued to cut the furlough scheme prematurely and withhold the powers and funds Scotland needs to protect jobs.

The SNP Shadow Chancellor said “if Westminster won’t act then it must devolve the powers so Scotland can get on with the job”.

Last month, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned UK unemployment could surpass the peaks of the 1980s after weaker than expected economic growth, and the UK manufacturing sector warned of a “jobs bloodbath” in the autumn

Analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found the UK economy is 24.5% smaller than it was in February – with 650,000 fewer people employed.

Separately, the British Chambers of Commerce quarterly recruitment outlook revealed almost a third (29 per cent) of firms expect to axe jobs over the third quarter – a record high.

Commenting, SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said:

“The Tory government has been warned repeatedly about the mass redundancies it will cause if it continues to cut the furlough scheme prematurely, and withholds the powers and funds Scotland needs to protect jobs and secure a strong recovery.

“It is no wonder that people in Scotland think the Tories are so out of touch when they are cutting off support in the middle of a global pandemic – putting thousands of Scottish jobs at risk.

“We have already seen major companies announce redundancies across the UK and experts are warning of a jobs bloodbath in the Autumn.

“The Tories will bear the blame if they impose these reckless cuts and refuse to ensure the powers, funds and support needed.

“Many freelancers, self-employed people, and Limited Company Directors have also been left with absolutely nothing from the UK government.

“Scotland can make different choices for an investment-led recovery that protects jobs – but we can only do it with the powers that other normal countries around the world already have.

“If Westminster won’t act it must devolve the powers so Scotland can get on with the job.

“The SNP has been pressing the UK government to act for months – and they have failed to deliver.

“It is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s economy is to become an independent country.”