Iain Dale 10am - 1pm
Rebuilding economy post-Covid will need ‘collective endeavour’ – Rishi Sunak
21 November 2020, 14:24
The Chancellor was speaking at the Scottish Conservatives’ virtual conference.
Rebuilding the economy after coronavirus will require the same “collective endeavour” as defeating the virus, the Chancellor has said.
Rishi Sunak insisted that this same “spirit” would be needed when the health threat of Covid-19 is passed.
He told the Scottish Conservative conference that “tough” sacrifices would be necessary for some time to come.
But he also stressed that in the midst of the global pandemic, the Scottish people should “know that they have the strength and security of the whole of the United Kingdom behind them”.
Speaking at the online event, the Chancellor said: “The restrictions that we are facing, the sacrifices that we have had to make. They are tough now and they will remain tough for some time.
“But the threat of this pandemic will pass.
“And when it does we will then need to take that spirit of collective endeavour onto the task of rebuilding Scotland and the rest of our country together.”
The Chancellor said the UK Government had given an additional £8.2 billion of funding to the Scottish Government “at this vital time”, to help fund the response to Covid-19
“That is what pooling and sharing our resources across our four nations means,” he said.
“Controlling this virus and supporting those who have been affected by it is a collective endeavour, one that we all have a role in.
“The enduring principle that when we come together as one United Kingdom we can achieve far more than we do as four separate nations, is as relevant today, in the most difficult time in many of our lives, as it has ever been.”
And he insisted: “If we come together then we can beat this virus.”
He told the conference about the impact the UK Government’s actions had had north of the border when coronavirus restrictions forced businesses to close.
But the “overwhelming might of the UK Treasury” meant Westminster had been able to take “unprecedented action to support all of Scotland through this pandemic”.
The Chancellor said more than a million Scottish jobs had been protected by furlough and the self-employment income support schemes, adding that 79,000 businesses across Scotland had also benefited from Bounce Back Loans.