AROUND 10,400 furloughed workers across West Dunbartonshire are having their wages supported by the UK Government, according to new figures from HMRC.

The statistics also show that 2,000 people across the local authority are benefitting from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), with grants worth a total of £5.6million given out up to May 31.

Businesses have furloughed a total of 628,200 staff across Scotland, up to May 31, since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was launched on April 20.

Maurice Golden, West Scotland MSP for the Conservatives, has hailed both schemes for helping to protect thousands of jobs across the area.

Mr Golden said: “The job retention scheme from the UK Government has been one of the biggest support schemes from any country in the world, and these figures highlight just how many thousands of jobs have been protected over the last few months.

“The Conservatives have stepped up and supported businesses and individuals in West Dunbartonshire throughout this crisis, safeguarding jobs, protecting our vulnerable and helping our economy recover in the future.”

However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called on the UK Government to extend the job-saving scheme beyond October as official figures showed the UK economy shrank by 20.4 per cent in April – the largest monthly contraction on record.

On social media, Ms Sturgeon said: “UK gov interventions – esp on wage subsidy – have been hugely welcome.

“But it’s now time to signal further extension like some other countries have.”