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UK Budget Must Work For Stirling, Says Local MP


Categories: Economics, Inequality, UK Government (Westminster)

Alyn Smith MP in the House of Commons

Local Stirling MP Alyn Smith has urged the UK Chancellor to think boldly and with ambition in his upcoming budget, as businesses and households across Stirling and Scotland demand urgent financial support to weather the Covid-19 crisis.

Whilst support schemes such as furlough have been welcome, too often their extensions have come too late for businesses to retain jobs, contributing instead to increased economic uncertainty and anxiety amongst the business community.

Mr Smith is demanding the Chancellor puts the addressing of Covid-19 gaps at the heart of the budget:

‘The UK Chancellor is in a difficult position, we all accept that. However, what is unacceptable are the millions of people across these islands who remain excluded from Covid-19 related financial support, be they self-employed or otherwise.’

‘Stirling alone has seen an increase in unemployment claimants of 79%; the economic damage from this pandemic is real, and bold, ambitious action must be taken to underpin a fair and robust economic recovery. 

‘We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the past, failing to invest in our people, our workers and our business communities. This is the Chancellor’s chance to get it right, to extend support measures such as furlough as long as they need to go to avoid choking off recovery – and put people’s wellbeing front and centre of any UK plan to rebuild from Covid.’

‘The Scottish Government has put to work every penny of consequential funding to support Scotland’s economic and social recovery. They continue to fight with one hand behind their back, as key borrowing powers remain at Westminster. Stirling Council have worked closely with national agencies to ensure Stirling’s businesses can access the support to which they’re entitled. However I urge the UK Chancellor to do everything he can, to ensure this upcoming budget protects jobs, supports those who have done without thus far, and lays the foundations for a more equal economic recovery.’