Borders MSP raises coronavirus hardship concerns

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Following a statement from the First Minister, Rachael Hamilton MSP sought assurances that all is being done to ensure those affected by the coronavirus are not financially disadvantaged.


Ms Hamilton raised concerns that individuals who are on statutory sick pay and who have lost their jobs because of the virus are experiencing large pressures on their household incomes.


The number of people struggling with household bills could increase because of businesses closing and a potential rise in unemployment.


In response to Ms Hamilton, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government Aileen Campbell MSP promised that the Scottish Government ‘want to ensure that people are kept safe, warm and fed’ with proposals coming on Thursday to deal with an increase in financial vulnerability.


Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP, Rachael Hamilton said:


“I raised the important issue that people are struggling to make ends meet during the coronavirus outbreak.


“Businesses are forced to close due to a lack of customers and falling income, and this is having a knock-on impact on the household budgets of those who have been made redundant or who are off sick.


“We need to see the Scottish Government offer support to local authorities to deal with those who cannot pay their council tax bills as a result of financial vulnerability that is being caused by the response to Covid-19.


“In the coming days, we must have clarity over measures to be taken by the Scottish Government to ensure more people are not forced into hardship”.