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Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Jackson Carlaw Jackson Carlaw Conservative

That is a helpful clarification. To respond to the First Minister’s confirmation of the additional lives lost, in our shared endeavour as we confront this emergency, all our thoughts will be with those who are suffering bereavement as a result of it.

Turning to the broader economy, I acknowledge that the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has stated that everything that has already been announced constitutes but the first step of many and that there is a pressing need for further detailed assistance targeted in support of individuals. On Tuesday, the UK Government unveiled a package of financial measures to support business. Scottish businesses face the toughest of times, but we know that they can, will and must bounce back and prosper with the right help and support. The chancellor has backed business with more than £330 billion. Can the First Minister update us on how the Scottish Government will help Scottish business through the weeks and months ahead? In particular, in response to the many inquiries that MSPs are receiving, can the First Minister confirm to those who recognise the clear advantage of the assistance being offered to their businesses that it will be kept simple and how they should expect to access it?