The Scottish Conservatives have proposed that a new business advisory council should be built-in to the new coronavirus tier system to help protect Scottish jobs.
In the Scottish Parliament debate tomorrow, the Scottish Conservative amendment will call for the SNP to introduce a Coronavirus Business Council to inform decisions about new restrictions.
The motion will also request that the government develop and publish a Christmas loneliness strategy, and ask for the publication of local and regional data on COVID-19.
Scottish Conservative Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson said: “The introduction of additional restrictions must be accompanied by the support and involvement of businesses to make sure Scottish jobs are protected as much as possible.
“Building in a business advisory council to this new system would help keep Scottish jobs safe by giving businesses the seat around the table that they’ve been crying out for throughout this pandemic.
“It’s also vital as we approach the winter months, where people typically struggle more anyway, that the Scottish Government are ahead of the game on tackling mental health.
“A Christmas loneliness strategy that considers the needs of families to meet safely would go a long way to helping keep the public onside as they’re asked to keep making sacrifices.”
The Scottish Conservative motion is as follows:
Remove from ‘restricted’ and replace with: calls on the Scottish Government to establish a Coronavirus Business Restrictions Advisory Council to support Scottish jobs as well as protect public health; recognises the important role of Health Boards and local authorities in controlling this virus; calls for the further development and publication of local and regional data and statistics relating to Covid-19 and partnership working with Local Authorities to respond to local circumstances and Scotland’s diverse communities; calls on the Scottish Government to develop and publish a Christmas loneliness strategy to consider the need for families to safely meet relatives across the UK this festive season and calls on the Scottish Government to continue to work closely with the UK Government and the other Devolved Administrations in suppressing Covid-19.
The original Scottish Government motion is as follows:
*S5M-23133 Nicola Sturgeon: COVID-19: Scotland’s Strategic Framework—That the Parliament notes the publication of COVID-19: Scotland’s Strategic Framework, which sets out the intended approach to managing the suppression of COVID-19 across Scotland in the coming months; further notes that local NHS boards and local authorities will be consulted on the application of the framework to individual areas; acknowledges the basket of measures that will be considered with data published on decisions; further acknowledges that the Framework takes account of the direct harm that COVID-19 causes as well as the health, social and economic harms that result from the pandemic and the protective measures that have to be put in place; notes the increased support for self-isolation and compliance, the continued support for communities and for individuals, including for mental health, the projected increase in testing capacity and the commitment to increasing routine asymptomatic testing, as well as a commitment to continue to build and enhance the Test and Protect system; further notes the commitment to keeping schools open at all levels and the economic package put in place to support those businesses that may be required to close or have their operations restricted, and calls on the UK Government to enable the Scottish Government to make the same open-ended commitment to funding businesses in Scotland as has been made in England and to improve the support for wages, particularly for low-income workers who may be hardest hit by any necessary restrictions, in order to support people and businesses to comply.