INDEPENDENCE THE ONLY WAY TO PROTECT SCOTLAND'S ECONOMY
SNP MSP Colin Beattie has said the Tory government must perform an urgent U-turn over its reckless decision to withdraw support for jobs - after more companies in Midlothian and East Lothian voiced fears of redundancies after the furlough scheme ends next month.
Bakery chain Greggs, which has 25,000 workers across Scotland and the UK, is the latest company to indicate it may have to cut staff hours or jobs when the scheme ends, warning "with the Job Retention Scheme planned to end in October we are taking steps to ensure that our employment costs reflect the estimated level of demand from November onwards."
It comes as a new survey revealed four in ten (42%) small and medium businesses think they will have a smaller workforce in December than they did in September, and a quarter think they might go out of business next year if there is a second wave of Covid-19.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
"The announced cuts at Greggs will affect staff across my constituency, in Loanhead, Dalkeith and Musselburgh. This is just one example of a business that is directly affected by the UK Government’s decision to not extend the furlough scheme that provides full job protection.
“The devastating impact of the UK government's decision to withdraw support for jobs in the middle of a pandemic is starting to hit home, and it is adding to growing fears of job losses in Midlothian and East Lothian.
"Boris Johnson was repeatedly warned that thousands of people could lose their jobs unnecessarily as a result of Tory cuts - and those warnings are now starting to become reality.
"The Tory government must perform an urgent U-turn, reinstate a full job protection scheme, and devolve financial powers to the Scottish Parliament so we can protect our economy,
"We shouldn't have to wait for Westminster to act while the livelihoods of people in Midlothian and East Lothian are on the line. If the Tories won't act now to save thousands of Scottish jobs they will demonstrate beyond doubt that the only way to protect Scotland's interests is to become an independent country."