Murdo Fraser MSP has praised the UK Government’s furlough scheme for protecting nearly 30,000 jobs in Perth and Kinross.

The Scottish Conservative politician was commenting following the release of the latest figures on the scheme which show that a cumulative total of 27,200 jobs benefitted from it in Perth and Kinross.

At its peak, the furlough scheme protected over 900,000 jobs in Scotland.

A total of 2,900 jobs are still being protected in Perth and Kinross. The UK Government extended the furlough scheme to the end of September and Mr Fraser said he is supportive of the focus now being on getting people back into work in the area.

Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “The UK Government’s furlough scheme has protected vital jobs and livelihoods across Perth and Kinross throughout the pandemic and is continuing to do so.

“With restrictions having eased over the last month, it is welcome to see more employees continuing to return to work in the area, thanks to the UK Government’s ambitious Plan for Jobs.

“There must continue to be a focus on getting people back into work and accelerating our economic recovery. The UK Government have stepped up at every turn to support jobs during the pandemic and the furlough scheme has shown the strength of being part of the Union during this sort of crisis.”

Mr Fraser continued: “The SNP have failed to engage with businesses during Covid and been too slow to get funding out the door to them. Now they want to focus on another divisive independence referendum, which will be deeply damaging for jobs in Perth and Kinross.

“As furlough winds down in the coming weeks, it is imperative that the SNP-Green Government focus on our recovery, rather than obsessing over separating Scotland from the United Kingdom at every turn.”

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