Hyslop Highlights Growing Fears of Redundancies in West Lothian as Tory Cuts Start to Hit Home

With companies in West Lothian voicing fears of redundancies with the furlough scheme ending next month, Local Constituency MSP, Fiona Hyslop, has said the Tory Government must urgently reverse its reckless decision to withdraw support for jobs and businesses.

In her role as Cabinet Secretary for Economy in the Scottish Government, Fiona has consistently and directly called for the extension of the furlough scheme and believes the replacement Jobs Support Scheme is ineffective and will not go far enough to save jobs. 

Bakery chain Greggs, which has 25,000 workers across Scotland and the UK, is the latest company to indicate it may have to cut staff hours or jobs when the scheme ends. A local Greggs in Linlithgow Regent Shopping Centre is facing this unnecessary threat of closure. The company have warned that “with the Job Retention Scheme planned to end in October we are taking steps to ensure that our employment costs reflect the estimated level of demand from November onwards.”

The disheartening news comes as a new survey revealed that 42% of small and medium businesses think they will have a smaller workforce in December than they did in September, and 25% think they might go out of business next year if there is a second wave of Covid-19.

Fiona commented:

“We are starting to feel the devastating impact of the UK government’s decision to withdraw support for jobs in the middle of a pandemic and is adding to growing fears of job losses in West Lothian.

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been repeatedly warned by the Scottish Government that thousands of people could lose their jobs unnecessarily because of Tory cuts. Those warnings are starting to become a harsh reality.

“A report from Scotland’s Chief Economic Advisor has shown that if the furlough scheme was extended to June 2021 it could save 61,000 jobs and the cost would be repaid through continuing tax receipts and GDP gains. “

The Scottish people should not have their livelihoods put on the line as we wait for Westminster to take action. The Tories are demonstrating beyond doubt that the only way to guarantee Scotland’s interests and jobs are protected, is for Scotland to become an independent country. “