AROUND one-third of Scots believe Nicola Sturgeon’s Government in Edinburgh has done the most to support business and the economy through the pandemic.

In comparison, around one-fifth (21%) believe the UK Government has done the most.

The statistics come from a YouGov poll for News UK, the company owned by Rupert Murdoch which publishes both The Sun and The Times.

Asked where the majority of the emergency financial backing had come from, 31% of people said the Scottish Government.

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Of the remaining respondents, 20% said both governments had provided equal support, 12% said neither had provided aid, and 16% said they did not know.

UK Government figures published in July 2020 said that Westminster had helped almost 900,000 people across Scotland through its Covid support schemes.

The figures said the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme had furloughed 736,500 Scottish workers, while 155,000 self-employed Scots had received support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The SNP have often criticised these schemes for not going far enough.

Earlier this month the party’s shadow chancellor, Alison Thewliss, gave her support to a bill urging Boris Johnson to U-turn on a lack of support for around 3 million people across the UK.

READ MORE: UK Government urged to U-turn on lack of Covid support which has 'cost lives'

Thewliss said: “The UK Government is failing miserably to meet its responsibilities and deliver a financial package for the 3 million excluded who have been living without a single penny of support for 10 months now.”

Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, this weekend urged the UK Government to announce an immediate extension to the furlough scheme, which is due to end on April 30.

He said that Johnson’s Tories were making the same mistakes again and said measures needed to be announced to prevent millions facing a “disastrous cliff edge”.

The National: Chancellor Rishi Sunak did not extend the furlough scheme until it became clear that London would need itChancellor Rishi Sunak did not extend the furlough scheme until it became clear that London would need it

In autumn 2020 Westminster repeatedly refused to extend the furlough scheme, despite protestations from the devolved administrations and the north of England, notably Manchester's Mayor Andy Burnham. 

The Tories then announced a last-minute U-turn after it became clear that the south of England would need to go back into lockdown. 

READ MORE: Tory U-turn: Rishi Sunak to extend coronavirus furlough scheme until March

Thewliss said Chancellor Rishi Sunak had "dinghied" much of the UK, adding: "We should be clear that this kind of support is not unique and countries of all sizes have been supporting their people and many of them have done it more competently and more generously that the UK.”

Shirley-Anne Somerville, the social security secretary, told The Times that the Scottish Government had taken “unprecedented action to support people during the pandemic”, including significantly increasing resources for the Scottish Welfare Fund.

“We are taking steps to kick-start the economic recovery through our Plan for Jobs, expanding City and Region Deals in Scotland and investing in key sectors in Scotland such as defence,” she added.

A recent survey, also carried out by YouGov, found that, in mid-December, 61% of Scots trusted Holyrood to deal with recovery from the pandemic, compared to just 25% who trusted Westminster.

The National:

The survey also found that 57% of Scots trusted the information on Covid given to them by the Scottish Government. This is more than double the 24% who “completely or mostly trust” the UK Government to provide accurate information on the pandemic.

Nicola Sturgeon’s daily briefing is the most used source of information around the pandemic, with 38% of respondents regularly using it to access information around the developing situation.

Just 15% of Scots watch Boris Johnson’s briefings “when they occur”, the study found.