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3 June, 2021 Open access

Scotland’s First Minister calls on UK Government to extend CJRS ‘for as long as it is needed’

Speaking ahead of four-nation summit on UK's recovery from Covid-19, First Minister also calls for SEISS to be extended to newly self-employed, and for confirmation of long-term approach to Test and Trace Support Payment

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on the UK Government to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) 'for as long as it is needed'.

Speaking ahead of a virtual summit meeting today between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Ministers from each of the devolved nations to discuss the UK's recovery from the impact of Covid-19, Ms Sturgeon said -

'We have done everything we can with the limited powers we have to tackle inequality and mitigate the impact the pandemic has had on peoples’ livelihoods, but we cannot allow that to be eroded as we enter the next phase of living with the virus. A return to the pre-pandemic austerity would be disastrous for jobs, for public services and for people and families across Scotland.

As the UK Government hold the key financial levers to help us recover from this, I will be calling on it to commit to maintain public spending during the period of recovery, and to extend the furlough scheme for as long as it is needed to protect businesses and people who have been required to stop working to protect others, and I will be emphasising that it is managed sensitively in a way that supports longer term recovery.'

In particular, in relation to the CJRS, Ms Sturgeon said that the UK government should -

In addition, the First Minister called on the UK Government to revise the entry criteria for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to allow those who became self-employed more recently than 2019/2020 to access support; and to confirm the long-term approach to the Test and Trace Support Payment in England and any consequential funding for the devolved nations.

For more information, see Financial clarity call ahead of summit from gov.scot