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Furlough scheme continues to provide Moray jobs lifeline


By Alan Beresford

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THE government's furlough scheme is supporting around 2500 jobs in Moray, newly published figures have revealed.

Moray MP and Scots Tory leader Douglas Ross chats to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishni Sunak. Picture: Moray Conservatives
Moray MP and Scots Tory leader Douglas Ross chats to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishni Sunak. Picture: Moray Conservatives

Statistics published by HMRC show that six per cent of all eligible workers remain paid via the Job Retention Scheme (JRS). Across Scotland, an average of eight per cent of those eligible are being supported through the initiative, which was put in place by the UK government at the beginning of lockdown in march to protect jobs and wages.

Nearly one million jobs have been supported throughout Scotland by the JRS and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The Scottish Government has also received about £10million in direct funding from Westminster to help fight the pandemic.

Moray Conservative MP Douglas Ross said the figures again underlined the importance of UK government intervention to protect the economy from the worst impact of the virus.

He said: "These figures once again highlight the huge value of the UK Government's furlough scheme during this pandemic.

"Thousands of people in Moray are still being paid 80 per cent of their normal wages to avoid redundancy.

"We also know that the self-employed here have received support and businesses have been able to access loans and grants to help stay afloat.

"The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has repeatedly taken steps to protect the economy throughout this crisis and ensure that we have the best chance of bouncing back quickly as we recover."

Applications for the third SEISS grant opened on November 30, so there are no official statistics currently available on this portion of the scheme. We expect they will be available for the first time in January.

However, self-employed individuals in Scotland have made 142,000 claims totalling £359 million during the second tranche of the scheme.



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