Labour MSPs have voted against an amendment calling for the UK government to extend the furlough scheme – despite repeated calls for an extension from both Kier Starmer and Richard Leonard.
During a debate in the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Labour voted against an SNP amendment which “notes the importance of government measures, such as the job retention scheme, to aviation businesses and calls for it to be extended.”
According to new research published today, extending the furlough scheme by eight months could save 61,000 jobs in Scotland and continue to provide a lifeline to many families across Paisley and Renfrewshire.
A Scottish Government report estimates that the direct cost of extending the furlough scheme in Scotland to June is around £850 million – but wider economic benefits, such as increasing GDP, mean that it could pay for itself.
During the debate, Paisley’s MSP George Adam urged all politicians to put party politics aside and fight to save real jobs, real people and real lives.
“It beggars belief that Labour voted against extending the furlough scheme. They have once again put political posturing ahead of public duty, and their empty rhetoric on jobs and living standards has been well and truly exposed.
“The hard reality is that without the normal powers of an independent country, Scotland is unable to extend the furlough scheme and deliver the scale of fiscal stimulus needed to properly protect our economy.
“Instead of sitting on their hands, Labour should join the SNP in calling for this Tory government to hand Holyrood the financial powers it needs so that we can protect Scottish jobs and quite literally save lives in our constituencies.
“It’s simply unbelievable that the Labour party actually voted against extending the furlough scheme today – instead siding with the Tories to put thousands of Scottish jobs at risk when the scheme ends in less than six weeks. Voters will remember this.”