Housebuilding solution to unemployment after Covid - Kenny MacAskill
Thankfully, it’s not as bad in East Lothian, as it is in many other parts but it’s remains a huge concern. Memories of
the 1980s are still raw for many. The suffering then for many communities, not just individuals was immense. Moreover, this time its across a far wider scale. Jobs and lines of work that were thought to be secure, such as hospitality and retail, are now suffering.
It’s why businesses need to be kept alive and a plan prepared for when we come out of this pandemic life. The easiest way to kick start the economy will be through existing businesses that have been furloughed or just restricted in their work. Having them still trading and even in existance to do that’s, therefore vital. Its why additional measures are needed from the Chancellor, as well as further support for business from Holyrood.
But there also needs to be an economic plan for after the virus. Life will have changed in many ways and we’ll need to adapt it. But creating jobs will be essential. The quickest way to do that has always been through construction. There’s homes to be built and houses to be retrofitted for improvements to make them warmer and environmentally suitable for climate change.
Some will be for sale and come through the major house builders. But others need to be for rent, either for the council or other social landlords. Those rented homes are badly needed in the county.
Funds exist and not just from the Government to build them. Accessing that finance and marrying the work for idle hands with the new homes needed for families, must be a priority. Planning needs to start now so we can deliver.
Kenny MacAskill is the Scottish National Party MP for East Lothian