Edinburgh West MP calls for furlough extension

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has said the latest unemployment figures for her constituency show the need to extend the furlough scheme.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 6:00 am
Pic Lisa Ferguson. Liberal Democrats MP Christine Jardine.

The latest figures released this week show that in Edinburgh West there were 2,725 people unemployed in December, almost a fifth of them were young people. The overall increase is 1,640 since March 2020 to 4.2 per cent of the working population, compared to the UK rate of 6.5 per cent.

Ms Jardine (Lib Dem) said: “Now is not the time to be complacent. These figures are still rising but clearly show the importance of the furlough scheme, and if the UK Government goes ahead with plans to end it in September it could have far reaching consequences. They also need to extend support to the self-employed who have had no support at all since last March.”

She added: “But it also shows clearly why the Scottish Government needs to focus on putting the recovery first rather than a bitter, divisive and expensive independence referendum.

“We need both our Governments to work together to tackle the threat of mass unemployment by supporting business and offering training and retraining opportunities.

“This is not the time to be arguing about the constitution but to be tackling the poverty gap, the attainment gap in our schools ad making sure that businesses who have struggled in this pandemic have the support to get them through.”