MORE U.K. GOVERNMENT ACTION NEEDED TO PROTECT JOBS, BUSINESSES AND INCOMES

The Chancellor must do more to "get a grip" of the growing Tory UK unemployment crisis - as new figures reveal rising UK unemployment and record redundancies.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Market Survey, published this morning, revealed the UK unemployment rate has risen to 4.8%, with 782,000 fewer people in employment since March, and the number of redundancies at a record high of 314,000 - a record increase of 181,000 on the quarter.

In Scotland, the employment rate estimate rose over the quarter to 74.0% and the unemployment rate estimate was unchanged over the quarter at 4.5%.

The Scottish Government has announced additional support including a £60 million Young Person’s Guarantee, to ensure everyone aged between 16 and 24 has the opportunity of work, education or training, and a £25 million National Transition Training Fund to help up to 10,000 people aged 25 and over, who have lost their jobs or are at risk of redundancy, to develop the skills required to move into sectors with the greatest potential for growth.

This shows more action is needed to curb the growing Tory UK unemployment crisis - and do more to protect people's jobs, businesses and incomes.

Scottish National Party (SNP)MPs have been warning for months that the UK faces a tidal wave of mass redundancies if the Tory government fails to act - and the evidence is now demonstrating that fact. For many, the long-overdue Tory U-turn on furlough cuts came far too late - causing thousands to lose their jobs unnecessarily and forcing many good businesses to go under.

With UK unemployment rising, and redundancies at record levels, it's crucial the Tory government urgently fixes the gaps, which have seen millions excluded, and delivers meaningful investment to stimulate the economy, support businesses, and boost people's incomes - including making the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent and extending it to legacy benefits.

We cannot afford a return to the lasting social damage that Tory mass unemployment in the 1980s and 1990s caused to communities across the UK. Millions have already seen their incomes slashed and many more jobs could be lost if action isn't taken now.

In Scotland, the SNP government is taking the action it can, including by introducing the £60million Young Person’s Guarantee, the £25 million National Transition Training Fund, and continued support for businesses and workers - but with the full economic powers of an independent country we could do so much more.

Scotland shouldn't have to wait for Westminster to act. By withholding investment and blocking the devolution of financial powers, the Tory government has hindered Scotland's ability to respond to this crisis. It is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland's interests is to become an independent country.

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