Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

Sturgeon grilled on Aberdeen lockdown as desperate Scottish businesses face collapse

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Scotland’s First Minister told the coronavirus briefing that there are restrictions on the totality of money at her disposal. However, Ms Sturgeon avoided commenting on whether Scotland needs increased borrowing power from Westminster.

A BBC Scotland journalist said: “With businesses in Aberdeen facing a third week of closures, are you confident a £1million fund with grants of £15,000 is enough?

“We have heard from businesses who say they are close to closure.”

The SNP leader replied: “We are making this money available immediately to the council as an immediate assistance for businesses that are facing a further few days of closure.

“We will continue to talk to the council about further support we can make available.

“I have to be frank with people we have limits to the amount of resources we can call on.

“I won’t go into the argument about increased borrowing powers today, but we have restrictions on the totality of money that is available to us.

“We continue to do what we can within that.”

Earlier this week a statement from the Scottish Tourism Alliance and UK Hospitality said the lockdown was a “devastating blow” to businesses just beginning to trade again after months of strict lockdown.

They added: “Aberdeen serves as an example of how quickly the virus can reignite and illustrates the immediate impact that this has on a local economy and public health.

“It is absolutely critical that all businesses and customers follow the government guidelines and safety protocols stringently and that we safeguard as best as we can to prevent this situation happening elsewhere in the country.”

Yesterday Aberdeen residents took to Twitter to react to the possibility of a further lockdown in the region. 

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One resident pleaded: “Nicola can you please let us have a bit of normality back tomorrow in Aberdeen.

“I have a desperate little one. Who would love to have her grandparents over for a cuppa.

“Please don’t tarnish us all with the same brush. As 90 percent of us have been good.”

Another one snapped: “Maybe if she visited the place she would know the difference between Aberdeen and Grampian.”

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