This week I have been proud to see Britain’s Armed Forces assisting health centres, GPs and the ambulance service with the delivery of Covid-19 support.
The Army is setting up 80 new vaccine centres for NHS Scotland from this week.
Ninety-eight soldiers, mainly from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, will work with medics over the next four weeks.
New sites will be established all over Scotland, including here in the north-east, to work through the population and make sure everybody that needs to receive the vaccine can get it safely.
This will help speed up the process of getting jabs into as many arms as possible, as quickly as possible.
Up to this point, GPs have been telling me that they could be delivering the vaccine far more quickly, but the SNP haven’t been getting supplies where they are needed. It’s time to pick up the pace and the British Army will speed things up massively.
Vaccines are our best route to reducing restrictions, returning life closer to normal and rebuilding Scotland’s communities.
Since November last year, I have been calling on the Scottish Government to extend business support for 25 Aberdeenshire companies who fell through the cracks because they aren’t classed as hospitality or retail businesses.
This means outside caterers and the like have never received the sort of funding that pubs and restaurants were eligible for, and some had it removed.
Since pushing again on this issue last week, the Scottish Government has announced that money will start coming to these businesses – securing jobs and the local economies they contribute to.
The UK Government has supplied an extra £8.2 billion — so far — for Scotland to fight the pandemic, including £700 million explicitly for business support.
However, according to the SNP Government’s own figures, only £55 million has so far been delivered.
They must get this cash out of the door now.