Following reports of a sevenfold increase in redundancies in July, the SNP has said the UK government must U-turn on its decision to axe the furlough scheme in the middle of an economic crisis.

It has been reported today that British employers planned more than 300,000 redundancies in June and July this year – with 1,888 firms have made plans to cut nearly 156,000 jobs in June (a sixfold increase on last year) and 1,784 firms had planned to cut nearly 150,000 jobs in July (almost a sevenfold increase on July 2019).

The SNP’s Shadow Chancellor said Boris Johnson risks causing further mass redundancies across Scotland and the UK if he refuses to heed the SNP’s calls to extend the furlough scheme and devolve the financial powers Scotland needs to save jobs.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“The Tories must U-turn on these reckless plans to axe the furlough scheme in the middle of a global health pandemic and economic crisis or we will face a further wave of mass redundancies – another hammer blow we cannot afford.

“If we are to avoid similar lasting social damage caused by 1980s levels of unemployment, it is vital that the UK government extends the furlough scheme and devolves the financial powers Scotland needs to protect jobs.

“Our European neighbours in Ireland, France and Germany are already extending their furlough schemes – just as Scotland would if we were an independent country. Scotland shouldn’t have to wait for Westminster to act.

“By refusing to act and devolve the necessary powers – choosing instead to prematurely cut off support – the Tory government is risking thousands of unnecessary job losses and years of pain for communities across Scotland and the UK.”

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