Publication - FOI/EIR release

COVID-19 Furlough scheme extension correspondence: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
3 Nov 2020
COVID-19 Furlough scheme extension correspondence: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000085281
Date received: 7 Sep 2020
Date responded: 4 Oct 2020
Information requested

1) Since March 1 2020, any letters sent by Scottish Government ministers to UK Government ministers on the topic of extending the furlough scheme beyond October.

2) In the same time period, any letters received by Scottish Government ministers from UK Government ministers on the same topic.

3) For the period between May 2020 and present, any forecasting analysis of the impact of the removal of the furlough scheme on the Scottish economy, local authorities or public bodies.

3a) This should include predictions including but not limited to the number of staff potentially being made redundant, financial implications, or for the number of companies likely to fold due to the furlough scheme's removal.

Response

In response to Questions 1 and 2, I enclose a copy of the information you requested .
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government is unable to disclose the information you have requested because of exemptions under sections: 

  • s. 27(1)-information intended for future publication
  • s.33(1)b-commercial interests and the economy

Answer
The first modelling / forecasting done by the Scottish Government analytical team on the potential impact of the furlough scheme on the labour market can be found in June Monthly Economic Brief: 
https://www.gov.scot/publications/monthly-economic-brief-2/ (page 3-4 ).

August Monthly Economic Brief publication also disclosed potential impact the furlough scheme on the labour market:
https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/research-andanalysis/2020/08/monthly-economic-brief-august-20202/documents/monthly-economic-brief/monthlyeconomic-brief/govscot%3Adocument/monthly-economic-brief.pdf (page 9 - 11 ).

Office of the Chief Economic Adviser (OCEA)also performed a modelling exercise on the removal of the furlough scheme and results have been published here:
https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-19-analysis-extending-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/pages/5/

Further analysis on not extending current furlough scheme and replacing it with the new Job Support Scheme and its impact on labour market has been published here:
https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/research-andanalysis/2020/09/state-economy/documents/state-economy/stateeconomy/govscot%3Adocument/state-economy.pdf (page 9 - 11)

An exemption applies

An exemption under section 27(i) of FOISA applies to the release of the Scottish Government’s interim evaluation of COVID-19 business support measures in Scotland, which includes analysis of the impact of the removal of the furlough scheme on industrial sectors. This exemption applies because of plans to publish a version of the report within the next 12 weeks. We will alert you when this is published.

An exemption under section 33(1) b of FOISA applies to where its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person (including, without prejudice to that generality, a Scottish public authority).

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG