Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Economic Update

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 9th July 2020.

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Photo of Kate Forbes Kate Forbes Scottish National Party

My first point is that employers are starting to make decisions about redundancies in part because they know that the furlough scheme is coming to an end and that there is a cliff edge in October. There was an option for the chancellor yesterday to extend the furlough scheme, albeit on a sectoral and phased basis, as France has done, for up to two years, which I think would avert a rapid increase in redundancies, particularly in the hospitality sector.

The member’s point about ensuring that fair work practices are in place is important. I assure him that all our support for employability, skills and retraining and for businesses to keep people in work will have fair work at its heart. As I said, Fiona Hyslop will set out the details soon, and I give an assurance that we want to ensure that individuals—particularly young people—who find themselves in one of the most challenging job markets in a generation are supported not just to be in work but to have fair wages and meaningful contracts.