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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 Colin Smyth Colin Smyth Labour

As the cabinet secretaries for economy and the rural economy have both said, the announcement advising people to avoid restaurants and pubs, for example, has had a devastating impact on the food and drink sector. Rates relief is obviously welcome, but the economic tsunami in that sector at the moment means that many businesses—in particular, the small ones—will go bust, or will at least lay off staff within a matter of weeks, if not days.

Are all the Governments considering a scheme that is similar to the one that has been proposed in Ireland, whereby businesses are being paid €203 per week to keep on staff who would otherwise have lost their jobs as a direct result of the health advice that people should not use those businesses? Is a similar scheme likely to happen?