Business dissatisfaction with Sturgeon’s cautious pandemic approach

For the past year, Nicola Sturgeon and her Scottish National Party government have Coronavirus crisis. But as hotel owner Stephen Montgomery says, many companies consider things “a little different.”

The Scottish government’s “ridiculous” ban on the sale of alcohol by bars and hotels indicates that it “doesn’t understand how hospitality works”, and hotels and restaurant bars in southwestern Scotland were hit by a pandemic in Montgomery. He said. .. “They listened to what we said, but they didn’t do anything we said,” he said.

Such frustration, which is widely shared among Scottish travel, hospitality and retail companies, is primarily due to Sturgeon’s easing of the blockade over the past year compared to the British government. Due to the more cautious approach taken.

On Friday, the SNP government eased restrictions on field gatherings faster than expected, allowing six adults from six households to gather at once and go out of the local council area where recreation and exercise were permitted. .. However, the mitigation that sturgeon said was specifically aimed at increasing “mental health and well-being” had little direct benefit to the business.

So far, this doesn’t seem to undermine widespread support for SNPs, and polls by the party Landslide course In the Scottish Parliament elections on May 6, sturgeon hopes to provide a platform for promoting a second referendum on independence from Britain.

However, some political rivals believe that the public’s patience for the Scottish Prime Minister’s approach may be lacking. The Scottish Conservatives have called for a quick withdrawal from the blockade of the campaign, and the SNP has accused Scotland of “staying in the slow lane.”

Dissatisfaction among companies in the hospitality, travel and retail sectors is reluctant to make detailed plans to lift the blockade, despite the rapidly declining cases and deaths of Covid-19. It is fueled by that.

Liz Cameron, Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish Chamber of Commerce, said:

British pubs and restaurants resumed serving customers outdoors on April 12. Scotland will not allow it until April 26, two weeks later.

Sturgeon’s trip that refused to obey the British government by exempting travelers from many countries from monitored quarantine, or at least give instructions like the UK when foreign holidays may resume The department is angry.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive Officer of Edinburgh Airport, said: ..

Last month’s Times YouGov survey of Scottish voters was found Significant decline in approval Regarding the handling of the blockade of the SNP government compared to August last year.

But poll British Prime Minister Boris Johnson accounted for 19%, while 70% of Scottish voters believed that sturgeon had better overall control of the coronavirus pandemic.

The gap between the two leaders partially reflects that even her political rivals were a clearer communication of sturgeon coronavirus policy than Johnson.

SNPs can also point to the overall mortality rate of coronavirus. This is high by international standards, but proportionally lower in Scotland than in the United Kingdom.

The comparison between the two countries is complicated by differences in geography and demographics, but health experts say that Sturgeon’s early tightening of restrictions at the end of last year has lower the second peak of death than the UK. He said the data suggest that it will be.

The comparison with the United Kingdom also eases the political impact of shortcomings in the Scottish Government’s response to the crisis, such as the initial shortage of personal protective equipment and the inability to protect residents of long-term care facilities. It was useful for.

However, there are similar mistakes in the United Kingdom, and the excessive death toll of long-term care facilities throughout the pandemic suggests that coronavirus victims are high south of the Scottish border.

Opponents of Scottish independence are trying to emphasize the success of the British coronavirus vaccine program.

The SNP had previously been keenly aware of Johnson’s decision not to participate in EU vaccine procurement efforts and claimed in August last year that his “short-sighted and isolated approach” would hinder efforts to control Covid-19. I did.

Still, the UK’s plan to procure vaccines on behalf of all four countries is one of the most successful in the world so far.

Sturgeon faced some criticism of the relatively slow deployment of early vaccines by the Scottish healthcare system. However, the focus on providing jabs to long-term care residents seems to have initially been rewarded with lower mortality rates, and vaccination rates are now similar across the UK.

More important to the election may be whether voters are persuaded by the SNP’s claim that the business can trade again successfully only if the coronavirus is successfully suppressed.

“I’ve always said that if it’s possible and safe to lift the restrictions early, I’ll do it,” SNP Treasury Secretary Kate Forbes said in a statement.

Forbes rejected complaints that government support for business was slow and incomplete, arguing that Scotland’s funding for such support was actually more generous than Britain.

Andrew MacRae, Scottish Policy Chairman of the Small Business Federation, said the grant was funded too late both north and south of the border.

“The Scottish Government has chosen to launch a number of support schemes, which means the situation is more complex than in the UK, but a smaller percentage of operators may have been completely lost. There is, “says McRae.

Conversely, the company is of the Scottish Government Complete business rate reduction This year for people doing business in retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation.

But even if the sturgeon returns to power on May 6, as polls suggest, her government must do a lot to restore relations with many in the private sector. You will have to.

Cameron of the Scottish Chamber of Commerce said the next government should act swiftly to reduce operating costs and promote trade. “Basically, businesses and the Scottish Government need a reset,” she said.

Business dissatisfaction with Sturgeon’s cautious pandemic approach

Source link Business dissatisfaction with Sturgeon’s cautious pandemic approach

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