I welcome the belated announcement that the Furlough Scheme has now been extended across the UK into December, although further clarity is needed still on the exact repercussions for Scottish decision making.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask why this extension wasn’t available when Scotland pushed for it; why it was left until five hours before the original Scheme expired; and what measures are in place to mitigate the still-looming job losses.
Decisions made in the service of securing public health are to be welcomed, but we are no longer facing this virus without context: we know what lockdown does to the economy and to business. One of the biggest drivers of poor health is poverty. The government must also take care to keep working people’s incomes safe.