Commenting on a forecast by the Scottish Government’s chief economist, Gary Gillespie, that 47% of jobs in Moray are in industries that are at high risk – such as tourism, construction and manufacturing – and up to 10,000 jobs could be lost, Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston said:
“This forecast makes extremely grim reading and will be of real concern to many local households with incomes reliant on jobs in these sectors.
“While the armed forces based in Moray provides some form of shock-absorber for the local economy, and the UK Government’s huge investment at RAF Lossiemouth continues to be vitally important, it is clear that much more needs to be done.
“The Moray Growth Deal now becomes even more significant, as does the much-heralded investment in the A96.
“But we also need the Scottish Government to start showing the same initiative the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has with his introduction of the Job Retention Scheme and other measures of financial assistance.
“SNP ministers have considerable powers and resources at their disposal, and they will have the support of the Scottish Conservatives if they recognise the need for urgency in responding to the challenges facing Scottish businesses”.
The Conservative MSP added: “Unless the Scottish Government heeds the warnings of its own Chief Economist and starts doing something positive to support local jobs, many households in Moray will be facing bleak times ahead.”