SCOTLAND has a key role to play in powering the future of the UK’s global economy, the Chancellor has said.
Rishi Sunak is visiting Scotland today to visit people and companies which have benefitted from the UK Government’s jobs schemes throughout the pandemic.
Ahead of his visit, Mr Sunak said the country’s “innovation and ingenuity” was a key part of the union’s economic strength, and added that Scottish firms were playing a vital role in the overall green recovery strategy in the UK.
He said: “We’ve come through this pandemic as one United Kingdom – with our Plan for Jobs supporting one in three jobs and tens of thousands of businesses across Scotland.
“Thanks to the strength of our Union we’ve deployed the fastest vaccination rollout in Europe and our economy is rebounding faster than expected.
“It’s vital this continues, and Scotland’s innovation and ingenuity will be key in creating jobs, powering our growth and driving a green recovery.”
The visit comes days after the SNP launched an attack on Mr Sunak’s Kickstarter jobs scheme, which they claimed had only provided Scotland with 1.5% of the 250,000 jobs the Chancellor planned to fund as part of the pandemic recovery.
However their claims created a row, with the UK Government saying the party was misleading the public and Scotland had actually received more than its relative population share of jobs so far.
Despite promising 250,000 jobs only 148,000 have been created across the country, with 10.740 of these in Scotland
Of the total, 50,000 have been taken up, with 4400 (8.8%) of them in Scotland.
Today Mr Sunak is due to visit businesses and workers in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Fife to discuss how they are recovering from the pandemic and find out more about how firms are creating jobs and playing a role in the UK’s green recovery.
The trip comes less than 100 days before the Cop26 climate change summit in Glasgow, with the Chancellor expected to look at how the country is using offshore wind to support the economy.
He will et employees who have been using the UK Government’s furlough scheme and have since returned to work and will also talk with representatives from the country’s financial service sector to discuss his ideas for the industry’s future.
He is expected to thank them for keeping call centres and bank branches open during the pandemic, and for their work in helping to distribute billions of pounds to people through coronavirus loans and support.
Finally, Mr Sunak is planning to speak to members of the country’s culture and arts sectors to find out how they are planning for the summer and how they have coped during the crisis.