Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid has welcomed a raft of new measures from the Chancellor to support jobs and businesses across the UK during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Rishi Sunak today revealed a Job Support Scheme in which the government will top up the wages of staff that are kept in post on reduced hours to avoid mass layoffs.
In addition, the Chancellor announced an extension to Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, a repayment extension to bounce-back loans for business, a deferral of tax bills and a continuation of the VAT cut from 20% to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sector.
The economic measures follow an increase in restrictions due to rising cases of COVID-19, including a 10pm curfew for bars and restaurants and, in Scotland, a nationwide ban on home visits.
Scottish Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan David Duguid said:
“As the furlough winds down amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, these new measures are very welcome.
“The new Job Support Scheme will allow many employers to retain staff that might otherwise lose their jobs over the winter months.
“It is a radical step for a UK Government to top up the wages of workers in this way and should help avoid the kind of mass redundancies that had been feared.
“I was also very pleased to see the VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sector extended until the end of March next year.
“This will provide a lifeline for many businesses and jobs in Banff and Buchan. Tourism is a vital part of our local economy – and indeed the wider Scottish economy.
“Once again, the UK Government has taken the necessary steps to protect all four nations of the UK from the huge and ongoing challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic. I very much welcome the announcements from the Chancellor today.”