SCOTLAND has a key role to play in the future of the UK’s global economy, the Chancellor said.
Rishi Sunak is traveling to Scotland today to visit people and businesses that have benefited from UK government employment programs 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 businesses played a key role in the overall green recovery strategy UK.
He said: ‘We have come through this pandemic as one UK – with our jobs plan supporting one in three jobs and tens of thousands of businesses across Scotland.
“Thanks to the strength of our Union, we have rolled out the fastest vaccination deployment in Europe and our economy is rebounding faster than expected.
“It is vital that this continues, and Scotland’s innovation and ingenuity will be key to creating jobs, fueling our growth and driving a green recovery.”
The visit comes days after the SNP launched an attack on Mr Sunak’s Kickstarter job scheme, which they said had provided Scotland with just 1.5% of the 250,000 jobs the Chancellor had planned to fund as part of the pandemic recovery.
However, their demands created a row, with the UK government claiming the party was misleading the public and that Scotland had in fact received more than its relative share of the jobs so far.
Despite the promise of 250,000 jobs, only 148,000 were created nationwide, of which 10,740 were in Scotland
Of the total, 50,000 were cared for, of which 4,400 (8.8%) were 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 learn more about how businesses 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 due to consider how the country is using offshore wind to support the economy.
READ MORE: SNP attacks Tories flagship jobs program – as UK government says party is ‘cheating’ public
He will meet with employees who have used the UK government’s leave program and have since returned to work and will also meet with representatives from the country’s financial services sector to discuss his ideas for the future of the industry.
He should thank them for keeping call centers and bank branches open during the pandemic, and for their work in helping distribute billions of pounds to people through loans and support for coronaviruses.
Finally, Sunak plans to speak with members of the culture and arts sectors across the country to find out how they are planning for the summer and how they have coped with the crisis.