Nicola Sturgeon Covid update LIVE as FM ‘considering’ restricting mass events

Devolved furlough schemes are ‘needed’

Different parts of the country should be able to launch their own furlough schemes if needed, researchers have argued, as they called for the reform of funding arrangements to devolved Governments across the United Kingdom. The report, published on Tuesday, said that Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Governments should be either given minimum funding guarantees by Westminster or enhanced borrowing powers, if stringent health measures and additional economic support is needed. It also said there could be a regional furlough scheme under certain circumstances.

And the report’s authors, from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, the Fraser of Allander Institute at Strathclyde University, and University of Stirling Management School, also added that good communication and coordination across both the UK and devolved Governments was essential.

David Bell, professor of economics at the University of Stirling, said: “Effective communication and coordination between the UK and devolved Governments is vital for effective policy-making given the interactions between funding and policy decisions taken by these two levels of government.

“There were improvements during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic but stakeholders have told us these have not been sustained.”