Chancellor “must not pull the rug out from under the economy”

The SNP has said the Chancellor “must not pull the rug out from under the economy” by cutting support for jobs and businesses abruptly and prematurely – as new analysis shows the hospitality and service industry could be hardest hit when the Tory government ends furlough support at the end of this month.

Analysis from the House of Commons Library, using the latest HMRC data, [See Notes] has revealed that 259,100 jobs in accommodation and food services remain furloughed at the latest count – representing 15% of eligible jobs in the industry.

In total 1,563,600 jobs across the UK remain furloughed at the last count. That includes 224,500 jobs in wholesale and retail (5%), 161,500 in administrative and support services (7%), 155,900 in manufacturing (7%), 120,400 in transportation (9%), 114,200 in construction (9%), and 73,900 in the arts and entertainment (15%).

With ten days to go until the Tory government ends the furlough scheme at the same time as raising taxes and cutting Universal Credit payments by £1040 a year, Stephen Flynn MP warned the UK government is creating a “perfect storm” that could result in rising unemployment, poverty and inequality.

Commenting, SNP Business spokesperson Stephen Flynn MP said:

“The Chancellor must not pull the rug out from under the economy by cutting support for jobs and businesses – risking a Tory unemployment and poverty crisis in the winter.

“By ending the furlough scheme prematurely, increasing taxes, and cutting Universal Credit by £1040 a year, the Tory government is creating a perfect storm that could result in thousands of unnecessary redundancies and rising levels of poverty and inequality across the UK.

“Brexit has already hit the economy hard and the UK already suffers from the worst levels of poverty and inequality in north west Europe. It makes no sense for the Tory government to starve the economy of support and threaten people’s jobs and livelihoods.

“Too many people have been left behind by the UK government during the pandemic, and it is increasingly clear that there will be no fair recovery at Westminster. The only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to build a strong, fair and equal recovery.”

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