Almost 900,000 Scots on furlough or self-employed support

The latest figures show a total of 891,500 people have received the support in Scotland during the coronavirus pandemic.

Almost 900,000 Scots on furlough or self-employed support Getty Images
Furlough scheme: Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The furlough scheme and self-employment support have helped 891,500 Scots during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest UK Government figures.

Statistics show up to the end of June, 736,500 people in Scotland have been furloughed – 29.8% of all eligible jobs.

The coronavirus job retention scheme currently pays 80% of furloughed employees’ wages, up to £2500 a month, although the Chancellor has announced plans to reduce UK Government contributions from August and end the scheme in October.

Another 155,000 claims have been made to the scheme supporting self-employed workers, and it has paid out £449m in Scotland.

An estimated 75% of eligible self-employed Scottish workers have applied for the financial support, with an average claim of £2900.

The figures, broken down by area, show 88,300 jobs in the Glasgow city region have been furloughed (32%), while 58,400 people have received support through the job retention scheme in Edinburgh (28%).

By local authority, Highland has the highest percentage of furlough with 34% (36,600 eligible jobs), followed by Perth and Kinross with 33% (22,200 jobs).

Na h-Eileanan Siar has the lowest proportion of furlough in Scotland with 23% (2900 jobs), followed by Inverclyde’s 24% (8300 jobs) and 3100 jobs in Shetland – a quarter of those on the island.

Commenting on the figures, Scottish secretary Alister Jack said: “The UK Government has supported almost 900,000 jobs in Scotland so far through our unprecedented package of UK-wide coronavirus assistance.

“People and businesses in Scotland also continue to benefit from UK-wide schemes such as VAT deferral, company loans and Universal Credit.

“This is in addition to the extra £4.6bn allocated to the Scottish Government for coronavirus funding through the Barnett formula.

“As shown by the Chancellor’s ‘Plan for Jobs’, the UK Government continues to do whatever it takes to get Scotland, and the whole of the UK, through the coronavirus pandemic and ensure our economy can get back on track.”

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Economy secretary Fiona Hyslop said she will “continue to press” Chancellor Rishi Sunak to carry on with the furlough scheme for some parts of the economy.

Hyslop said: “While we are seeing people return to work as the economy reopens, figures published today show that 29.8% of Scottish workers have been furloughed.

“So we would ask again that the Chancellor considers extending the job retention scheme, particularly for sectors especially hard hit by the pandemic or those unlikely to recover quickly.

“It is only fair that these businesses are supported when they’ve had to close through no fault of their own, and have undoubtedly helped save lives as a result.”