May 27, 2020
As the Scottish Government’s focus on the economic impact of Covid-19 continues, the STUC will be providing regular bulletins to signpost you to the latest sources of information.
From our colleagues at the STUC:
As the Scottish Government’s focus on the economic impact of Covid-19 continues, we will be providing regular bulletins to signpost you to the latest sources of information. We hope that you will find this useful and share with your networks where appropriate.
Earlier today, the First Minister gave an update on Covid-19 statistics from the National Records of Scotland. The figures showed that the total number of deaths in Scotland linked to coronavirus has risen to 1,616. A third of the deaths were recorded in care homes.
The First Minister outlined the measures that have been put in place to protect residents and staff in care homes. You can see read the First Minister’s full statement here.
In wider news, a new campaign is underway to direct parents to sources of help and information.
Advice for businesses and their employees is available at https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/
There is an HMRC helpline for tax issues at 0800 015 9559.
NHS Inform’s coronavirus webpage is the fastest way for people to get the latest health advice and information.
Guidance for businesses looking to offer support for the ongoing effort to tackle the Covid-19 emergency can be found here.
Scottish Government announcements
- A total of 915 patients has died in Scotland. 8672 have tested positive for the virus with 1876 currently in hospital. 166 of those are currently in intensive care.
- The previous position on coronavirus testing in care homes yesterday – announcing that all new residents would be checked. The Government states that hospital discharges to care homes will have been tested twice but that other new admissions to care homes are expected to be tested.
- Household claims for Universal Credit in Scotland have increased from an average of 20,000 per month in 2019 to over 110,000 between 1 March and 7 April, highlighting the impact the pandemic is having on people’s finances
- A number of short-term prisoners nearing the end of their time in custody are to be released early, under measures designed to help tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The scheme will be limited to those sentenced to 18 months or less and who on 30 April have 90 days or less left to serve.
- The latest State of the Economy report shows that GDP in Scotland could fall by around 33% during the current period of social distancing, similar to estimates from UK and international bodies such as the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
- Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop has confirmed the breakdown of the £100 million fund to support the self-employed and SMEs announced last week.• £34 million Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, managed by Local Authorities, will be allocated to the newly self-employed facing hardship through £2,000 grants • £20 million Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund managed by the Enterprise Agencies in partnership with Creative Scotland and VisitScotland for creative, tourism and hospitality companies not in receipt of business rates relief • £45 million Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund, managed by the Enterprise Agencies for vulnerable SME firms who are vital to the local or national economic foundations of Scotland.
UK Government announcements
- 535,342 tests have concluded, with 18,206 tests on 20 April. 397,670 people have been tested of which 129,044 tested positive. Of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 17,337 have sadly died.
- The UK government is working with over 150 British companies that could manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline NHS staff battling the coronavirus pandemic. Hancock said the government had received 8,331 offers of help and each one was being investigated.
- Human vaccine trials for Covid-19 will begin on Thursday, in a bid to make the UK the first country to create a drug to provide immunity against the disease.
- Oil prices suffered a historic crash in the US, falling to just 1 cent before going negative for the first time ever as demand collapses in the face of the coronavirus crisis.
- Which says that none of the UK’s 10 biggest holiday companies or airlines are currently offering full refunds within the legal time frame, with some refusing to provide refunds altogether and instead offering customers the choice of rebooking or accepting a voucher or credit note. Holiday companies should offer refunds within 14 days while for airlines it is seven days.
- Research carried about by YouGov suggests that loneliness in Scotland has more than doubled since the lock-down, 24% of Scottish adults reported feeling lonely. The most affected are young adults with 43% reporting loneliness.
- A group of 25 doctors have written to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, because they are concerned about the UK's current advice on self-isolation for coronavirus.
- The government is facing fresh questions over the time it took to join an EU scheme to source medical equipment. Officials have insisted the UK did not receive an initial invitation in time because of communication problems. A claim by Sir Simon McDonald, the Foreign Office permanent under-secretary That UK ministers took a political decision not to be involved in an EU ventilator scheme, was later retracted.
More from Scottish Trade Union Congress here https://www.stuc.org.uk