Douglas Ross MP: ‘The furlough scheme has not just been a lifeline to people who would have otherwise lost their jobs, it is also a real and tangible reminder of the economic security of the Union.’
We’ll leave aside how the Scottish Government had to press the Westminster government just to secure basic fairness of treatment over furlough extension. It’s now becoming commonplace for us to be told that it is being part of the UK that has ensured financial support for businesses and employees in Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, the implication being dripped into the ears of Scotland’s public is, if no longer in the UK, we would not have been able to have such support. However, the reality is that smaller nation states have, just like the UK, been able demonstrably to finance variants of job retention schemes for their own citizens.
On 3 August, 2020 the OECD published a review of job retention schemes introduced during the first Covid-19 lockdown and beyond.
This OECD report states: “In response to the COVID-19 crisis, most OECD countries took active measures to scale up existing short‑time work (STW) schemes, introduce new ones or create temporary wage subsidies to preserve jobs and support incomes.”
For example the smaller nation states, some with they own currency and some in the Eurozone, that have had job retention schemes include: Denmark (population 5.7m; own currency), Estonia (1.3m; Euro), Finland (5.4m; Euro), Iceland (0.3m; own currency), Ireland (4.9m; Euro), Latvia (1.9m; Euro), Lithuania (2.7m; Euro), Luxembourg (0.6m; Euro), New Zealand (4.8m; own currency), Norway (5.4m; own currency), Slovakia (5.4m; Euro) and Slovenia (2.1m; Euro).