Ian Murray MP Working Hard for Edinburgh South
New COVID-19 measures are to be introduced to Scotland as of November 2nd. This comes after a difficult month in October where businesses in the hospitality sector have been forced to close – some for good. I wrote about this and the Scottish Government’s broader strategy for the Edinburgh Evening News which you can read here.
You can read more about the new measures here.
There has also been further business support introduced by the UK and Scottish Governments which you can apply for here. These are in addition to extensions to the furlough scheme and Self Employment Support Scheme. These changes are welcome but the schemes, as usual, are full of holes and many are being forgotten about. If you have any issues with accessing support packages people get in touch.
In the new Scottish Government 5 tier system (0-4) Edinburgh will be in tier three – broadly similar to what we are currently in. I have been demanding that the Scottish Government show its scientific evidence for that decision. The central belt was put under additional restrictions on 8th October for 16 days. This has been extended till 2nd November where it will be extended again when this new tier system come into effect. The First Minister needs to explain why this strategy has failed and a prolongation of measures has been deemed necessary as businesses and employees are telling me daily that they are close to breaking point.
I was astonished to see Edinburgh placed in Tier 3 given that the criteria used has Edinburgh at 2, 3, 0, 0, 0 which should place it in Tier 2. We have a lower score than most areas in Tier 2. The question now becomes how you move from Tier 3 into Tier 2 if the Edinburgh scores in the criteria are already this low. I keep posing this question but only get the answer that it is the First Minister’s “judgement”. That, for me, is not good enough. What is the point in having a list of criteria for the tiered system if the First Minister makes an arbitrary choice anyway? Business need some light at the end of this long and dark tunnel.
I wrote about this in the Evening News this week, you can read the article here.