UK Government 'determined' to support coronavirus recovery in Scotland, says Michael Gove
Michael Gove will travel to the highlands today as part of the UK Government’s attempts to highlight the support it has provided to businesses during lockdown.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with hospitality workers, the Cabinet Office Minister said that from growing up in Aberdeen he appreciated the “special character” of the North and North-East, and that “the values I learned living and working in this very special part of the United Kingdom - teamwork, solidarity, enterprise and community spirit - have never been more important”.
The trip comes after Boris Johnson told his cabinet to raise the profile of the work the UK Government is doing in Scotland, with reports today suggesting the Prime Minister is considering holding UK government cabinet meetings in Edinburgh.
UK Government data shows there are 36,600 people being supported through the UK Job Retention Scheme in the highlands, and another 8,900 people receiving payments from the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
Gove said: “As a boy growing up in Aberdeen and as a young reporter working on the Press and Journal, I appreciated the special character of the North and North-East of Scotland. The values I learned living and working in this very special part of the United Kingdom - teamwork, solidarity, enterprise and community spirit - have never been more important'.
‘The UK Government is determined to do everything we can, working with the Scottish Government and others, to help Scotland's economy recover from the covid pandemic. We are all stronger together.
“The hospitality sector is absolutely vital to the Highland economy - and to many other rural parts of the UK. That is why the UK Treasury has been pulling out all the stops to support workers and businesses the length and breadth of the UK. Billions of pounds have been paid out in wages or lent out on loans. Tax bills have been deferred and VAT has now been cut for the hospitality sector. From next week we are even going to be picking up some of your restaurant bill. We are using the full financial firepower of the UK Government to help hotels, bars, restaurants and other tourist attractions to weather this storm and build a recovery.”