Commenting on today’s Budget, Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston said:
“This budget is great news for jobs and businesses across the Highlands and Islands. It puts in place measures to help the UK to bounce back from the pandemic, and provides a real boost to key local sectors."
“The extension of the furloughing scheme until the end of September is extremely welcome and clearly demonstrates the UK Government’s commitment to protecting jobs and household incomes. Tens of thousands of people across the Highlands and Islands have been supported by the scheme and will be pleased by Rishi Sunak’s decision to extend it and the Universal Credit uplift."
“There’s also the great news that alcohol duty has been frozen, something which will be celebrated across a region famous for its distilleries, particularly those in the home of whisky in Moray."
“And I am particularly pleased that our hospitality and tourism businesses - which have been hit so hard by the pandemic, the Scottish Government’s restrictions and delays in support - have been backed by the Chancellor with the 5 per cent reduced rate of VAT extended for a further six months until the end of September."
“Scotland will receive an extra £1.2billion in funding through the Barnett consequentials, a real boost from the UK Treasury and one the Scottish Government must use and not hoard in their coffers in Edinburgh."
“There are difficult times ahead but this is a positive and proactive Budget, and the opportunities it offers must not be squandered by lethargic and unimaginative SNP ministers.”