FMQs: Sturgeon must get cash to businesses before Christmas

Nicola Sturgeon today refused to say if businesses would receive cash from the Scottish Government before Christmas in response to questions from Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross.

After Scottish Conservative demands for a cancellation compensation fund on Monday, the SNP Government announced £100 million of funding for struggling businesses on Tuesday.

However, at First Minister’s Questions, she gave no timeline of when businesses would receive that funding.

The First Minister did confirm the opening of several mass vaccination centres, which the Scottish Conservatives had called for repeatedly at First Minister’s Questions and Covid updates.

Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: “Mass vaccination centres should have been up and running weeks ago when we first called for them.

“We hope the government will now get these clinics operating fully with the urgency that is necessary in light of the new Covid variant.

“The SNP Government have also left business guidance to the last minute again and created unnecessary confusion with their mixed messaging.

“Businesses have been told one thing by the First Minister on Tuesday and another thing today. They now need to comply with this guidance from Friday, 24 hours earlier than they were expecting.

“We all understand the situation is moving quickly. However, if the public are expected to adapt quickly, then it’s right we demand the government adapts quickly too and gives people the information they need on time.

“This guidance has now, finally, been published. But there’s still no word on when struggling small businesses will get the funding they desperately need to survive this difficult period.

“This is about people’s jobs and their livelihoods. Nicola Sturgeon must commit to getting this vital cash to businesses before Christmas.

“Nicola Sturgeon is calling for more support from the UK Government before she’s even able to tell Scottish businesses when they’ll get funding from her government.”

Notes

The Scottish Conservatives have called on the Scottish Government to open mass vaccination centres in the Scottish Parliament on four occasions in the last month. Douglas Ross called on mass vaccination centres to be reopened at First Minister’s Questions on the 2nd December, and in response to the First Minister’s weekly Covid-19 update on the 16th and 30th November. Sandesh Gulhane also called for mass vaccination centres to be reopened in response to the First Minister’s Weekly Covid-19 update on the 23rd November 2021. (Meeting of the Scottish Parliament 02 December 2021, Official Report, link), (Meeting of the Scottish Parliament 30 November 2021, Official Report, link), (Meeting of the Scottish Parliament 23 November 2021, Official Report, link), (Meeting of the Scottish Parliament 16 November 2021, Official Report, link)

The SNP Government originally said the new Covid laws for businesses would come into force at 0.01am on Saturday. This has been changed to 0.01am on Friday. (BBC, Glenn Campbell on Twitter, 16 December 2021, link).

 

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