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Covid-19 (Economy)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 18th March 2020.

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Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

The helpline was launched only last Thursday—less than a week ago—in conjunction with the UK Government; there is a dedicated Scottish helpline, which identifies support in Scotland.

The announcement that was made on Monday—less than 48 hours ago—has precipitated considerable concern and business expectation. There was also the announcement, only on Saturday, of the immediate response to the budget.

We completely understand that people want to access information. Yesterday, I spoke to Scottish Enterprise, after a number of members had contacted me, to ensure that it is scaling up activity, in terms of the available resource.

I take the member’s point about the helpline being a critical service, which people need to be able to access. I have talked about the sheer scale of activity in terms of the number of calls. We are committed to constantly updating and improving the information, even as of today. We will also make sure that there is the capacity for people to get responses when they need them. People will have to bear with us. We are going through an economic emergency and the service is scaling up at pace. We should thank the people who are providing that service for us, as I appreciate Murdo Fraser has just done.