Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency has expressed her concern that over 360,000 jobs in Scotland are at risk if the furlough scheme is withdrawn next month, according to new Scottish Labour analysis.

Across Scotland, almost 78,400 people were partially furloughed and 288,400 fully furloughed at 31 July. There has also been a total of 126,000 claims made across Scotland to the self-employment income support scheme.

Across the UK, the sector with the highest proportion of its workforce eligible for the Job Retention Scheme who were actually furloughed was the arts, entertainment and recreation industry at 45%, followed by the accommodation and food services sector at 43%. In all, 58% of employers in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector were using the furlough scheme at the end of July and 57% of employers in accommodation and food services.

There has been 1,800 claims for self-employment support across West Dunbartonshire and a further 2,700 across Argyll and Bute.

Jackie Baillie said:

“These are anxious times for families across Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond as they try to hold on to their jobs in the face of huge economic uncertainty.

“Today’s figures reveal that over 360,000 people are facing a furlough cliff-edge next month – and this could lead to long-term unemployment on a scale that people have not seen in their lifetimes. The Tories are leaving hundreds of thousands of families living in fear in Scotland. Boris Johnson must think again over his government’s rash plan to withdraw the furlough scheme next month.

“I have consistently argued for the furlough scheme to continue in some shape or form, even if it is targeted at those industries hardest hit by the virus such as tourism and hospitality.

“The Scottish Government must also implement their youth jobs guarantee scheme urgently. And SNP Ministers must think again over their proposal to cut off support at the age of 25. Workers of all ages, especially women, are facing the prospect of unemployment. The constituency of Dumbarton needs a quality Jobs Guarantee Scheme that creates jobs and equips workers with skills they can use for the rest of their lives.”

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