Stirling MP Alyn Smith has called on the UK Government to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme into 2021 and urgently address existing gaps in support, in the face of the deepest recession since records began.
UK GDP, a measure of economic performance, dropped by 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020, reflecting the mounting economic costs of the coronavirus pandemic.
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has indicated the furlough scheme will come to end in October, at the beginning of what some experts fear may be a second wave of coronavirus.
Alyn Smith MP said:
‘The furlough scheme has been a valuable component in a range of state measures aimed at stabilising businesses during this global pandemic. I have consistently called on the UK Government to address serious gaps in support – for instance, the exclusion of limited company directors.
“I’ve spent the past few weeks, visiting businesses speaking to them about their concerns, and encouraging members of the public to support them. Whether it’s a bakery in Callander or a café in Dunblane, the concerns are the same: uncertainty about staying out of lockdown, and worry that the financial support will no longer be available.
‘In my judgement, pulling the rug out from under businesses in October would be a grave mistake. As we’ve seen from recently published figures, the UK has taken one of the severest economic knocks globally from this pandemic. Now is the time to keep up the investment, support our businesses and ensure their recovery and survival.’
Office of National Statistics report: https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/bulletins/gdpfirstquarterlyestimateuk/apriltojune2020