Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton) (Lab):
The cabinet secretary will be aware of the significant concerns of the self-catering industry about the changes in guidance on household composition; 60 per cent of businesses have already experienced cancellations, and 42 per cent expect significant financial losses. What action will the cabinet secretary take to minimise the impact on the sector of the revised guidance coming from the Scottish Government?
Jackie Baillie will know that I have many self-catering properties in my constituency, so I also get the casework. First, Fergus Ewing has spoken as recently as yesterday to the Association of Scotland’s SelfCaterers to understand its concerns and see what more we can do. Secondly, Jackie Baillie will know that there was financial support for self-catering businesses during the first lockdown. I am keen to ensure that we provide what support we can to those businesses, but the big issue is that the replacement for the job retention scheme will not do so, and we do not have the funding that would allow us to tailor our response to Scotland. We will use every penny that is at our disposal to provide support but, at this point, we do not have the funding to develop new schemes for financial support.