Decentralized countries demand more cash support from treasury ahead of Cobra meeting
Decentralized administrations in the UK have stepped up their demands for more cash support in response to the increase in Omicron cases across the country.
The Prime Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all pressed Boris Johnson for more financial aid as protective measures are put in place in the three countries to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed on Friday that a Cobra meeting with decentralized nations would take place over the weekend to discuss the response to the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Prime Minister said in a phone call Friday with Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon underlined the “extreme urgency of the crisis” for companies in the hospitality, events, of culture and related, which are already suffering from a heavy financial impact.
The spokesperson added: “The Prime Minister also made it clear that decentralized administrations need clarity on whether additional financial support would be available, and also on how it can be triggered by one or the other. all UK administrations, in the event of additional protective measures. necessary to fight the virus in the coming period. “
Northern Ireland’s Prime Minister Paul Givan also spoke to Mr Johnson on Friday, as did Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford.
Mr Givan said he had asked the prime minister for increased economic support in response to the increase in cases.
Speaking after their conversation, he said: “During the discussion, a number of questions were raised regarding further cooperation and collaboration.
“I also insisted on the need for more support from the treasury as it is essential that businesses that have already been affected by the decisions people have made to reduce their own social contacts receive support, and this is a problem that we will continue to make representations to the government.
Earlier on Friday, Mr Drakeford strongly criticized the UK Treasury and its attitude towards supporting decentralized countries as Omicron cases continue to rise.
“Our ability to provide and maintain long-term economic support during this new wave of this ongoing public health emergency is severely limited by the current position of the UK Treasury and its refusal to open vital support programs, such as leave, “he said.
“These programs should be available to all nations when needed and not just when restrictions are introduced in England.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak held a virtual meeting with the Confederation of British Industry, Federation of Small Businesses and British Chambers of Commerce on Friday afternoon after his early return from a trip to California.
A spokesperson for the Treasury said: “The Chancellor spoke to business and industry leaders this afternoon.
“We recognize how important the holiday season is to many businesses and the government will continue to engage constructively on how best to provide ongoing support to affected businesses and sectors.”
The groups raised concerns about the impact of cancellations and the importance of a clear message from the government.