Falkirk MSP calls for urgent return of furlough as COVID restrictions tighten

A Falkirk MSP has called for the return of furlough as COVID restrictions tighten once again.

By Allan Crow
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 2:57 pm

Gillian Mackay wants the UK Government to bring back the scheme so that Scotland can take protective measures against the omicron variant whilst protecting jobs.

The Scottish Green politician who represents central Scotland said the variant was spreading fast – and action was needed.

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Gillian MacKay (Pic: Michael Gillen)

She said the funding is needed to support workers and businesses already suffering due to a significant loss in trade and closures caused by local outbreaks, as well as allowing devolved governments to take public safety measures to stop the spread of the new strain of the virus.

And she said without economic support, the options available to the Scottish and Welsh governments and Northern Irish Executive are more limited.

The MSP said: “The UK Government has an utterly chaotic approach to COVID, with confusing messages undermined by the Prime Minister himself failing to follow the rules.

“Omicron is spreading fast and the UK Government must recognise the clear risks to vulnerable people and act decisively. The festive period is already disrupted, with many people cancelling plans for gatherings and hospitality businesses in Falkirk struggling. “And she added: “It’s time for the UK Government to act responsibly and reintroduce furlough where it is needed.

“Self-employed people could be particularly effected this Christmas, so it’s vital those who missed out last time are included in the scheme, and that sick pay is enhanced to make it easier for people to self-isolate.”

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