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The SNP Westminster leader attempted to push Boris Johnson into agreeing to an extension of the job retention furlough scheme due to shut down next week. Ian Blackford accused the Prime Minister of pursuing a Thatcherite policy of cuts while failing to understand the struggles Britons would face because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. But responding to Mr Blackford, Mr Johnson said: “I really must reject what the Right Honourable Gentleman has just said.
“It bears no relations to the facts or the reality of the situation about what this Government is doing to support this country and the population.
“And it’s not just the £200 million invested in jobs and livelihoods, what we will continue to deliver is a colossal investment on education, on health, on infrastructure.
“That will deliver jobs and growth throughout this United Kingdom for a generation.”
Mr Blackford urged the Prime Minister to reconsider his decision to shut down the furlough scheme in light of the renewed wave of lockdown measures imposed across the UK due to the resurgence of the coronavirus.
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The scheme was initially set up to allow workers to continue receiving wages despite the lockdown, with the Government paying up to 80 percent of their monthly income.
The SNP’s Westminster leader said: “The Prime Minister simply doesn’t get it.
“Yesterday we saw his total disregard for the people of Greater Manchester. A Tory attitude people in Scotland are all too familiar with.
“Millions of families are struggling to get by and this Tory Government wants to cut their incomes in the middle of a pandemic.”
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Mr Blackford continued: “It is clear the Prime Minister has made a deliberate decision to let unemployment soar, just like Thatcher did in the 1980s.
“Time is running out.
“With one week left, will the Prime Minister finally U-turn on his cuts to the furlough scheme and invest in our communities or will he leave millions of people on the streets?”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak last month announced a new scheme aimed at helping workers cope with the restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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