Sturgeon and Ross clash

Battle rages over support for Scottish firms

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon: ‘Businesses in Scotland should get the same treatment’

Businesses face a prolonged battle for survival as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed that the money to support them will run out unless Westminster comes up with a solution.

Ms Sturgeon, unveiling a new five-level shutdown system, (see more below) repeated her frustration that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new measures will provide financial backing for companies in England, but gave no assurances to Scotland.

She said she was determined to ensure that Scottish businesses would get the same support, but did not have the resources available to the UK government.

Without borrowing powers of its own or new funding from Westminster the budget would not stretch to supporting Scotland’s businesses ‘indefinitely’.

Stephen Barclay, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, earlier said Scotland would benefit through Barnet consequentials, but gave no details. Westminster has pointed out that Scotland recently received £700m of extra funding.

Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross criticised the SNP’s constant attempts to provoke a fight with Mr Sunak over funding and also pointed to the £700m of extra funding.

Douglas Ross

Douglas Ross: businesses are being cheated by SNP

Mr Ross also accused the SNP of “cheating” businesses that have already been severely impacted by local restrictions, such as those in Aberdeen. He said they had been denied as much as £2,000 each in back payments.

“It’s not on that they’re being cheated out of £2,000 that businesses south of the border are receiving,” he said.

“Scottish companies are fed up hearing about manufactured grievances. They don’t want another pre-fab SNP fight with Rishi Sunak and the UK Government. They need funding, now.

“In the past few weeks, Rishi Sunak has made a further £700 million of support available. The funding is there to protect Scottish jobs and support businesses.

Newsletter

The Scottish government issued details of grants now available to businesses as part of Scotland’s refreshed strategic approach to suppressing coronavirus (COVID-19).

From 2 November, firms that are required by law to close will be eligible for grants every four weeks for as long as the restrictions last. Based on rateable values, awards will be for either £2,000 or £3,000. 

Businesses which can remain open, but are directly constrained by the measures, will be eligible for grants worth £1,400 or £2,100, again based on rateable value.

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