‘Even with one hand tied behind its back’

From SNP Media:

The SNP Scottish Government has supported businesses across Scotland with £3.6billion of funding throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows that the Scottish Government has made over £2.7bn available in support such as grants, with £965m being made available to businesses through business rates relief.

The Scottish Government has made a wide range of support available to businesses, with some funding going over and above what the UK government has provided through Barnett Consequentials.

Commenting, SNP MSP and deputy convener of the Economy and Fair Work committee Colin Beattie said:

“Businesses in Scotland have had a torrid time in the past 18 months with lockdowns out with their control creating real uncertainty over their future.

“However, the SNP Scottish Government has stepped up to the plate, listened to the needs of firms across a number of sectors and provided funding and support wherever and whenever they have needed it.

“On some occasions the Scottish Government has provided funding over and above what has been made available by the UK government. For instance, 100% business rates relief for hospitality, retails and leisure businesses will continue on until March 2022 in Scotland, whereas businesses in the rest of UK have had to pay part of their business rates since July.

“Ultimately though Scotland has not been able to implement the same financial measures as other similarly sized European countries as a result of being shackled to Westminster. We face the prospect of furlough being wound down when businesses are still finding their feet.

“Even with one hand tied behind its back the Scottish Government has provided support for businesses, which is why we need a referendum for recovery to access the full powers that independence would bring.”

Research from SPICe is as follows:

Since the start of the pandemic in spring 2020, the Scottish Government have made available over £3.6 billion in business support to help mitigate the economic impacts of the virus.  This includes funding that has been made available to businesses affected by the COVID-19 restrictions under the Strategic Framework and various other Local Authority administered Covid-19 business support funds. Full details on spend on the various business support schemes can be accessed on the Scottish Government’s dedicated webpage.

Excluding non-domestic rates relief (the total for which is currently £965m), the total value (as of June 2021) is £2.751 billion.

A useful high-level summary of all the Scottish Government COVID-19 funding streams can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-summary-of-scottish-business-support-funding/

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