Scottish Secretary responds to November GDP figures in Scotland

Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack said:

Today’s figures reflect the challenges we continue to face as a result of this global pandemic.

The UK Government has invested over £280 billion to safeguard lives and livelihoods across the country – including through our furlough scheme which has protected nearly 780,000 jobs in Scotland. This direct support is on top of £8.6 billion extra funding given to the Scottish Government.

Hope is on the horizon with the roll out of vaccines and we are taking steps to kick start the economic recovery through our Plan for Jobs, expanding City and Regional Growth Deals in Scotland and investing in a new Shared Prosperity Fund.

As we continue to see during these challenging times, the strength of the Union and support offered by the UK Treasury has never been more important.

Background

  • The UK Government furlough scheme, paying 80 per cent of wages, will run until the end of April. The self-employed support scheme has also been extended to the end of March and will increase from 55% to 80% of average profits – up to £7,500. At their peak in the summer our furlough and self-employed support schemes were supporting more than 930,000 jobs in Scotland.

  • More than 90,000 businesses in Scotland have been supported from UK Government business loans worth £3.4 billion.

  • The UK Government is investing billions to help people of all ages back into work, including our £2 billion Kickstart scheme for young people, expansion of sector work experience programmes and recruitment of thousands of Work Coaches in Jobcentres.

  • This support is on top of an additional £8.6 billion upfront funding given to the Scottish Government this financial year for their Covid response.

  • At the Budget in March the Chancellor will outline the next phase of our plan to provide certainty and growth in the months ahead.

  • The UK Government continues to provide the bulk of Covid testing in Scotland and has moved quickly to buy vaccines, securing 367 million doses from seven developers with Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines currently being rolled out across the UK.

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