Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 8th December 2020.

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The First Minister:

I join Bruce Crawford in paying tribute to people across Stirling and, indeed, across the whole of the country for the sacrifices that they have been making for several months now. Every day, I stand and announce decisions that are difficult for people, and I do not want anybody to think that we do not fully appreciate and understand the degree of sacrifice and difficulty that people have faced and continue to face. I will probably never find the words to thank people enough for everything that they are doing to help us to suppress the virus.

Progress in Stirling has been encouraging, but we understand—I have already indicated this today more generally—that the situation is leading to continued difficulties for businesses, particularly in hospitality. Therefore, in addition to the strategic framework business support fund that has already been rolled out, the finance secretary has been developing a package of tailored support for a range of specific sectors. As I have indicated, she will set that out shortly.

We will review Stirling’s position—as we review the position of every local authority area—on a weekly basis, and we will announce the outcome of the next review next week. As I have just said to Annabelle Ewing, we hope that next week’s decisions will last through the Christmas period, but, of course, we will continue to respond to developments as they happen.