Responding to the Chancellor’s Job Support Scheme announcement, STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:
“This is something of a U-Turn for the Chancellor. For months now, the Chancellor’s recent interventions have been indecisive and insufficient. We have been arguing for months that the he should extend furlough and to some extent that is what has finally be achieved. Increasingly, we are seeing panicked responses rather than foresight and clarity.
“While this may stem some job losses in the weeks ahead, delays in announcing it will have cost jobs – and businesses are not able to bring back workers they have laid off, believing the furlough scheme was to end in 3 weeks.
“The lower rate of support is also a serious worry. For hundreds of thousands of workers, particularly those in hospitality and creative industries, 66% of normal pay makes life impossible.
“In addition, many businesses that have not been asked to close face lower demand and are not be eligible for this support. We need a more generous short-time working scheme if we are to suppress both coronavirus and rising unemployment.
“In Scotland, the next couple of weeks are critical as businesses limit hours of business and many close. We need urgent discussions with the Scottish government to find out how it will ensure that the additional support for business it announced on Thursday can ensure that the money is used to protect jobs and pay workers.”
For more information, please contact Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary, on 07891026870.