Rishi Sunak Extends Government Furlough Scheme To March
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed the furlough scheme will be extended until the end of March 2021.
The furlough scheme covers up to 80% of the wages of people who are unable to do their job under lockdown restrictions, up to £2,500 per month.
It was due to end on October 31, however fresh restrictions meant that it was extended by a further four weeks, to cover the current lockdown in England.
Today in the Commons, Sunak announced the scheme will now be extended until March 2021, and will be reviewed by the government in January.
Sunak said the plans are in place ‘to give businesses security through the winter,’ adding that the furlough scheme will ‘protect millions of jobs.’
The announcement came shortly after it was revealed that the Bank of England will pump £150 billion back into the UK economy.
So far, the furlough scheme is believed to have cost around £40 billion since March, helping an estimated 9.6 million people in the process.
The extension of the scheme has, however, caused frustration among leaders in Scotland and Wales, who say it was unfair for the full support package to only be available when England goes into lockdown, rather than when Wales went into a strict two week lockdown weeks ago. They say the offer should be on the table if they decide to go into full lockdowns later down the line.
Meanwhile, it has also been questioned why the government refused to give such generous support packages when parts of northern England were put into the Tier 3 restrictions.
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