Once again, the Chancellor has stepped up to support our economy as we head into the winter months with Covid-19 cases rising in many parts of the country.
Rishi Sunak announced on Thursday that the furlough scheme would be extended until the end of March next year.
Support for the self-employed will also be increased and the Scottish Government would receive an extra £1billion to help tackle the virus.
It is a demonstration of the strength of our Union that this Conservative government has been able to provide this level of support across the whole United Kingdom.
The furlough support will be available to cover 80% of the wages of any worker, with businesses only having to pay National Insurance and pension contributions.
Self-employed workers can also now claim 80% of earnings up to £7,500.
Here in Aberdeenshire, we have been placed in Tier 2 of the Scottish Government’s new Covid-19 restrictions. That means most workplaces remain open, albeit facing considerable operating restrictions.
I hope we do not reach the stage where businesses here in Banff and Buchan are again told to close, but if that does happen, they now know they can access the furlough scheme to keep staff in their jobs.
That could make a crucial difference for any company faced with the difficult choice of laying off workers.
The UK Government economic policies since the beginning of this pandemic have been amongst the most generous in the world and have helped businesses and individuals across Banff and Buchan.
Around one million Scottish jobs have already been protected thanks to the interventions by the UK Government.
These measures should help safeguard many more over the coming months.
We could be facing a challenging winter, with more pressure on NHS beds. If we all stick to the guidelines, we can hopefully continue to suppress the virus and keep cases here at a low level.