Nicola Sturgeon: £33 million to go towards helping people back to work

Scotland’s unemployment currently at 4.1%

Nicola Sturgeon has announced £33 million will go towards helping people back to work in Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon has announced £33 million will go towards helping people back to work in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon has announced £33 million will go towards helping people back to work in Scotland once lockdown eases as she said the restrictions are creating an "economic emergency".

Speaking at the latest Scottish Government coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, the First Minister said a rise in unemployment underlines the need to restart the economy as quickly as can be done safely.

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Ms Sturgeon announced 2,134 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up 29 from 2,105 on Monday.

A total of 14,655 people have tested positive for Covid-19, a rise of 61 from 14,594 the previous day, she added.

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There are 1,447 patients in hospital with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, up 20 from 1,427 on Monday.

Of these, 59 people are in intensive care, a fall of four.

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Speaking after the latest unemployment statistics were published, Ms Sturgeon announced the new cash boost to help people return to work.

She stressed Scotland's unemployment rate, which is currently 4.1%, is "relatively low" by historical standards but warned the figures "do not reflect the full economic impact of the pandemic" as they only cover to the end of March.

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She said the rise in unemployment "undoubtedly further demonstrates the need to carefully get our economy moving again as quickly as we are able to do that safely".

Ms Sturgeon added: "We know that the essential public health measures that we have had to take to deal with what is a public health emergency are in themselves creating an economic emergency."

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Speaking about the new funding, she said: "We will be investing a further £33 million to support people back to work as we gradually get the economy opened up again."

She said most of the funds would go to the Fair Start Scotland scheme and will "have a particularly focus on helping those most adversely affected", including young people, disabled and lone parents.

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