Nicola Sturgeon urged the Treasury to continue supporting Scottish business and workers with extra money after the latest figures showed a severe GDP contraction in the UK economy. The Government is due to phase out its job saving furlough scheme within months but the First Minister pleaded for an extension of the measures in light of the latest economic data. Speaking from Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said: “Today’s GDP figures show that in April the UK economy contracted by more than 20 percent.
“That is, by some distance, the largest decline on record and it confirms the scale of the economic crisis that has inevitably been caused by the health crisis that we face.
“I have previously welcomed the UK Government’s intervention, especially the furlough scheme which has helped to preserve jobs during this period.
“But in my view, it is now time to signal a further extension of Treasury support.”
The First Minister continued: “Other countries have already made this move, including France where plans are in place for a long-term partial activity scheme covering as long as two years.
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“The alternative to extended support being put in place is either business are forced to reopen before it’s safe to do so or businesses have to take an even bigger hit and that would cost jobs.
“Neither of those alternatives are acceptable.”
She added: “So I hope we’ll see further action from the UK Government and I look forward to working constructively with them, playing our full part in making all of that happen.
The First Minister’s update comes after she appealed to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to extend the transition period for Brexit trade talks.
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