As restrictions ease and some premises begin trading again, the Scottish Conservatives have ramped up calls for a faster reopening and said the SNP’s “anti-business approach” must end.
Visiting a bar in Edinburgh today, Douglas Ross said Scotland “can’t afford any more of the SNP’s anti-business approach.”
The party said more than 50 businesses have already supported their call for restrictions to be safely eased at a faster pace, lifting lockdown restrictions three weeks ahead of the SNP’s schedule.
The Scottish Conservatives have said venues should be able to serve alcohol indoors as of today and other restrictions due to be lifted on 17 May should have been lifted today, with the exception of rules on indoor mixing.
Hospitality groups have warned current restrictions mean many businesses will remain closed and they will continue struggling to earn a living.
Throughout the pandemic, businesses have voiced concerns about the SNP taking too long to release cash to companies and the government’s last-minute and shoddy guidance.
To tackle the problems caused by the SNP Government, the Scottish Conservatives have proposed the creation of a Covid Business Council and a 10-day turnaround guarantee on all business grants.
The party’s manifesto also commits to at least 25% rates relief for various sectors including hospitality businesses, saving the average pub more than £4,000. The SNP have refused to commit to ongoing rates relief beyond the current year.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “It’s fantastic to see businesses finally start to reopen after the incredibly difficult year they’ve battled through.
“The success of Scotland and the UK’s vaccine scheme means we can afford to safely speed up the easing of restrictions, and dozens of businesses have backed our calls to bring forward those reopening dates.
“But we can’t afford any more of the SNP’s anti-business approach. It is stifling Scotland’s economy and costing jobs.
“Rishi Sunak’s furlough scheme has protected around a million Scottish jobs but by contrast, businesses in Scotland have been left waiting too long for the SNP to deliver grants and flawed guidance keeps arriving at the last-minute.
“We can’t go through the uncertainty of Covid and let an SNP majority government drag us into the uncertainty of indyref2. Just as businesses start to get back on their feet, the SNP want to cut them off at the knees and put jobs at risk.
“If pro-UK voters use their peach party list votes for the Scottish Conservatives to stop an SNP majority and another referendum, we can get the Scottish Parliament 100% focussed on backing business and protecting jobs.”
The reopening pledge is here: https://action.scottishconservatives.com/reopenplan/