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Furlough Scheme

– in the Scottish Parliament on 13th May 2020.

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Photo of Richard Lyle Richard Lyle Scottish National Party

Does the First Minister believe that the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement yesterday that the Westminster Government is extending the furlough scheme provides enough reassurance for Scottish workers and their families?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Yesterday’s announcement was very welcome, because it took away the immediate potential cliff edge where companies would have had no choice but to look at redundancy procedures. An issue has been raised—I know that Alison Thewliss raised it yesterday—about the amount of subsidy and the fact that at, at a later stage, the Government will be looking to employers to pay some of that. Instead of 80 per cent coming from the Government, perhaps only 60 per cent will. Those are details that we are still keen to understand. We need to make sure that the scheme is doing what it needs to do, which is to avert the need for companies to make workers redundant.

In general terms, of course we welcome the scheme, and we welcome every extension of it, because we must keep in place support for businesses for as long as Government advice is stopping businesses operating as normal.