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Joan McAlpine, SNP MSPs for South Scotland has issued the following statement in response to the announcement of redundancy consultation at Browns Food Group.

“This is very bad news for the people of Upper Nithsdale and across Dumfriesshire where Browns Food Group is among the biggest private sector employers. It is a devastating blow for employees. I have today written to Mr Hill, the group finance director, asking if there is anything I can do to assist and I have contacted ministers and officials in the Scottish Government’s food and drink department about my concerns. I am however pleased to hear Mr Hill say the redundancies are not inevitable and they are looking at alternative solutions. Covid-19 has had a terrible impact on those companies who supply the catering trade and that will continue even as lockdown eases for hotels and restaurants. That is why I believe the furlough scheme ought to be extended by the UK and consideration should be given to a 100% VAT break for the worst affected firms.”