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CAMRA welcomes confirmation in law on pub deliveries and takeaways in Scotland

The emergency Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill passed by the Scottish Parliament confirms that pubs can sell alcohol and food to take-away or for home delivery, where it is safe to do so. 

The legislation clarifies that pubs across the country can continue to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises, as well as take-away or home delivery of food if this was previously provided on the premises. 

Any pubs continuing to offer take-away or delivery services must adhere to the Scottish Government’s safe social distancing guidance, as well as complying with all other standard health and safety requirements. 

This includes making sure that there is a distance of at least two metres between staff and any customers collecting items, and control of queues outside the premises consistent with social distancing advice. 

 

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Commenting, CAMRA Director for Scotland Sarah Crawford said: 

“The fact that this emergency legislation puts it beyond doubt that pubs can sell alcohol for consumption off the premises, and offer food for takeaway or delivery where the pub previously offered food, will be welcome news for pubs who are still looking to offer services throughout the COVID-19 restriction. 

“This will need to be done safely and in line with strict social distancing measures, but it does mean that communities who want to continue to support their local can do so. This will be especially important in our rural communities, where the local pub may be the only accessible business in the area. 

“CAMRA is continuing to call on the UK and Scottish Governments to make sure that pubs of all types and sizes receive the support they need to get through the coronavirus crisis, so they can keep paying staff and are able to re-open and thrive once this is over.” 

Additional Guidance For The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

 

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Additional guidance has been published for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The updates include:

  • More detail on eligible employers, including on companies in administration and public sector employers;
  • Confirmation of the eligibility for non-employees on the PAYE scheme, including company directors, salaried members of limited liability partnerships and agency workers;
  • Confirmation of the position of individuals with caring responsibilities and those being shielded; and
  • What is included in an employee’s ‘regular wages’, including clarification around Benefit In Kinds.

Updated guidance for employers and employees can be found below.

The Chancellor also made a number of announcements on Friday to strengthen the support on offer for businesses affected by Coronavirus including the launch of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.

 

CLAIM FOR EMPLOYEES WAGES INFORMATION UPDATED

 

CHECK IF YOUR EMPLOYER CAN USE THE CJRS - UPDATED

 

CHANCELLOR STRENGTHENS SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS

 

 

 

SNP RENEW CALLS FOR GUARANTEED INCOME AFTER SPANISH MOVESNP RENEW CALLS FOR GUARANTEED INCOME AFTER SPANISH MOVE

The SNP has renewed calls for the UK government to introduce a guaranteed minimum income - after Spain announced it would roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as possible” to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.

Ian Blackford MP said using the tax and welfare system to introduce a guaranteed income for everyone would fix the serious gaps in the current support on offer and ensure no one is left behind.

The SNP Westminster Leader has consistently called for the measure since the coronavirus crisis began - and has said it would also be a key measure to consider introducing for the long-term to create a fairer and more equal society.

Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said:

 

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"The UK government must reconsider its knee-jerk opposition to introducing a guaranteed minimum income for everyone, which would be the simplest way to ensure no one is left behind during the coronavirus crisis.

"There are serious gaps in the current UK system - and millions of people are not getting the financial support they need. A guaranteed minimum income for everyone would fix these gaps and put cash in people's pockets.

"The coronavirus crisis has exposed the deep flaws in UK government policy and the inequality that is rife in our society. This would be a key measure that could be continued for the long-term as part of the enduring fundamental change needed to ensure a strong recovery and build a fairer society that supports all our people.

"The SNP will continue to work constructively across parties to secure the support people need right now - and the long-term change needed for a fairer future."

MP welcomes building society limited opening

A DECISION by the Cumberland Building Society to reopen their Langholm branch for limited periods has been welcomed by local MP David Mundell.

 

The society suspended counter services as a social distancing measure for the duration of the current coronavirus emergency, switching some staff to a central hub.

 

Responding to representations from Langholm constituents, Mr Mundell raised concerns about the temporary closure with Cumberland management, including chief executive Des Moore.

 

He pointed out the importance of the Langholm branch, particularly since the closure of the town's sub-Post Office.

 

Mr Mundell said: "The Cumberland's six-days-a-week counter service is greatly valued by customers who do not use a bank card and, for various reasons, find using cash dispensers challenging.

 

"It is important something is put in place to ensure that those facing difficulties can have secure and easy access to their cash."

 

Mr Moore has now written to the MP explaining they have reviewed the situation at temporarily closed remoter branches, including Langholm.

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He states: "With particular note for your constituents, we will be opening Langholm branch fortnightly every Wednesday from 1 to 4, beginning on Wednesday April 8, and will look to increase hours when we are able.

"Social distancing measures will be in place at the branch and staff are contacting local customers to advise them of these temporary measures."

 

Mr Mundell added: "I'm grateful that this limited opening has been arranged by the Cumberland and also an earlier assurance about the long-term future of the branch. I look forward to a time when normal service can resume."

LOCAL MSP HIGHLIGHTS IN PARLIAMENT ‘DISPROPORTIONATE’ ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON RURAL AREAS

South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has stepped up his calls for better support for businesses in South Scotland, after research highlighted the disproportionate economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on rural communities.

A recent (March 23) blog from the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute stated: “Rural communities are particularly exposed to the economic impacts of the measures put in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Smaller business, in impacted sectors, and greater prevalence of self-employment mean that the impacts may be larger in these communities.

“There are already long-term challenges impacting on the outlook for rural areas in Scotland, such as an ageing population and heavy dependence on a relatively small number of industries. We will all be affected by the impact of the pandemic. But as this crisis unwinds, appreciating and responding to differences across the country will be crucial.”

The blog highlighted the fact that Dumfries and Galloway had the biggest percentage of self-employed people in Scotland, with over a fifth of workers in that category- twice the national average. The number of self-employed workers in the Scottish Borders is also substantial at almost a fifth of the workforce. In South Ayrshire over 13% of the workforce is employed in tourism compared to a Scottish average of just over 8%

Colin Smyth raised the issue with Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop in the Scottish Parliament last week (April 1).

 

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Speaking in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament during a question time on Covid-19, he said: “The Fraser of Allander Institute…highlighted the disproportionate economic impact that the pandemic will have on rural communities, where there are sectors such as tourism and hospitality as well as a large number of people who are in the self-employed workforce. 

“It is clear that there are gaps in the existing support, whether in relation to a self-employed person who has set up in the last year or a guest house that pays council tax and not rates.

"Will the cabinet secretary therefore bring forward additional support now to support those businesses in relation to which we know that those gaps exist? 

“For those businesses, the issue is not their economic recovery but their very survival in the days and weeks ahead.”

Speaking after raising the question, Colin Smyth added: “The Fraser of Allander blog made sobering reading for anyone who knows the situation in the South of Scotland.

“We have a lot of businesses who are still very worried about their future, especially those in hospitality and tourism sectors, as well as the many self-employed people. I have had dozens of enquiries on the subject in the past couple of weeks.

“Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop acknowledged that there are gaps in the current system, which is positive but now we need to see some action. I have also written to Finance Secretary Kate Forbes about this issue and I believe it is time for the Scottish Government to move on this serious issue.

“People in our area need better support if our local economy is to get through this crisis and I will continue to push the government on behalf of my constituents.”