Moray MP Douglas Ross has welcomed a raft of new measures announced by the Chancellor to support jobs and businesses in Moray and across the UK in response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Rishi Sunak today revealed a Job Support Scheme in which the government will top up the wages of staff that are kept in post on reduced hours to avoid mass layoffs.
In addition, the Chancellor announced an extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, a repayment extension to Bounce-Back loans for business, a deferral of tax bills and a continuation of the VAT cut from 20% to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sector until March 31 next year.
The economic measures follow an increase in restrictions due to rising cases of COVID-19, including a 10pm curfew for bars and restaurants and, in Scotland, a nationwide ban on home visits.
Mr Ross asked the Chancellor in the House of Commons today what the measures would mean for communities, families, individuals, and businesses in Scotland. In response, Mr Sunak thanked the Moray MP for his input in meetings with the Treasury and the Prime Minister prior to the announcement today.
Scottish Conservative MP for Moray Douglas Ross said:
“I have called for more support from the UK Government to reflect the increase in restrictions, and I am very pleased to see the Chancellor announce continued support for individuals and businesses.
“The new Job Support Scheme will protect jobs and the wages of workers throughout the winter months.
“It is a radical step for a UK Government to top up the wages of staff in this way and should help avoid the kind of mass redundancies that had been feared.
“I was particularly pleased to see the VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sector extended until the end of March next year.
“This is important for many businesses and for jobs in Moray. Tourism is a vital part of our local economy – and indeed the wider Scottish economy.
“Once again, the UK Government has taken the necessary steps to protect all four nations of the UK from the huge and ongoing challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic. I very much welcome the announcements from the Chancellor today.”