Sunak delivers a Plan for Jobs

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a number of unprecedented measures, and an extra £800 million for the Scottish budget.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we have put in place a £160 billion plan – one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world – which analysis shows has significantly protected people’s jobs, incomes and businesses.

Our Plan for Jobs - a package worth up to an extra £30 billion - is about supporting people to find the jobs that are out there, creating new jobs through investing in our infrastructure and housing, and finally protecting jobs by revitalising the hard-hit sectors upon which many jobs depend.

The first phase of our plan was about protection. It is now time to focus on jobs, and there will be a Budget and Spending Review in the autumn for rebuilding.

We are introducing new, unprecedented measures to protect millions of jobs in the hardest-hit industries upon which so many jobs depend.

Front and centre of our economic response has been the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – but it cannot and should not go on forever.

So we are introducing new measures to protect millions of jobs. We will reward and incentivise employers who successfully bring back furloughed staff with a Jobs Retention Bonus Scheme, a £1,000 bonus for every previously furloughed employee kept on continuously until January.

For the hard-hit tourism and hospitality sectors, we are temporarily cutting VAT to 5 per cent until 12 January 2021. And we’re launching a new Eat Out to Help Out scheme, giving people 50 per cent off meals out from Monday to Wednesday in August, to encourage people back into pubs, cafes and restaurants.

We are supporting people to find the jobs that are out there, with the most ambitious package for youth employment delivered by any government ever.

We know that young people will be hardest hit by this crisis, and we are determined to provide support to give them the best possible chance of getting on and getting a job.

Our £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will pay businesses to create hundreds of thousands new, decent and high-quality jobs for 16-24 year olds, covering 100 per cent of National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week for six months – a grant of around £6,500 per placement.

The UK Government’s Kickstarter Scheme and £1,000 retention bonus will support Scotland’s young people as the economy recovers from coronavirus. The VAT cut and voucher scheme provides vital help for the tourism and hospitality sector. These measures will help revitalise important sectors for our economy, and protect millions of people’s jobs. 

The SNP must also match the Chancellor’s freeze on stamp duty, by doing the same with LBTT, for the sake of householders, first-time buyers and the economy.

The UK Government is protecting Scottish jobs. The SNP now need to match that ambition.