Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, has raised concerns that the economic devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is only just beginning. This follows the announcement from Rolls-Royce that 9,000 jobs across the UK would be lost, some of which will be in Scotland. The day before OVO and SSE Energy announced that 2,600 jobs are likely to be lost, the overwhelming majority in customer services across Scotland affecting staff in Glasgow, Cumbernauld, Perth and elsewhere.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics suggest that claims to Universal Credit in Scotland went up by around 67% in April. Scotland’s unemployment rate is now estimated to be at 4.1%. This is higher than the whole UK rate of 3.9%.
Jackie Baillie has repeatedly called for more support for those who have found themselves without work as a result of the pandemic.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“We are only now beginning to see the economic impact that the crisis is having on our country as a whole and on the lives of individuals. The announcement from Rolls-Royce will come as a shock to many in our local community who I know are employed by the company.
“Whether you have been furloughed, made redundant or can’t find work as a self-employed person, the coming months are going to be hugely uncertain.
“The Scottish and UK Governments must reassure workers across the country that they are fully supported. Families are having to deal with the financial fallout from a crisis that they have no control over.
“Our unemployment rate and benefit claimant rate is rising rapidly and immediate action must be taken to protect those that find themselves out of work, and in the long term we need a plan for economic recovery.”