£10m job fund to support small companies in Scotland

Image caption,
John Swinney said there could be no let up in boosting economic recovery

A £10m fund to encourage smaller companies to hire staff will help up to 5,000 people into work, the Scottish government has said.

The initiative, a concession won by the Tories in return for supporting the Scottish budget, will also support exporting companies.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said the move showed the SNP's commitment to economic recovery.

Labour's Andy Kerr said the fund had come "four years too late".

Speaking at an event in Edinburgh, Mr Swinney said there could be "no let up" in efforts to help people into work amid tough economic times.

"This £10m fund will help provide an incentive for companies to take staff on, it will provide crucial cash to help meet the cost of hiring more employees, and it will also be targeted at our exporting companies - a crucial area which has helped lead the recovery we have seen across Scotland," he said.

Mr Kerr, Labour's finance spokesman, said: "You have to question the sincerity of the SNP's commitment when unemployment has soared under their watch, but it is only now, 30 days before the election campaign, that they are coming forward with policies to support business."

The Tories' Derek Brownlee added: "Thanks to the Scottish Conservatives, this year's budget already looks set to benefit Scotland by over 10,000 jobs."

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