Sunak to extend furlough scheme till March 2021

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (right) with Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, hosting a roundtable for business representatives at Franco Mana in Waterloo, London. The Chancellor is set to announce a new support package for businesses affected by Tier 2 restrictions.

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak has stated that the furlough scheme will be extended through winter to March 2021.

The Commons will be releasing the full details shortly and it is unclear if the full 80% wage will be available as it has been since the scheme was announced.

This follows several days of wrangling over what the scheme would cover and how long it would last. The original scheme was supposed to end on the 31st of October, but has been extended to cover the circuit breaker lockdown in England.

This has created a problem with Scotland and Wales which said that it was unfair that the full package was only made available when England went into lockdown.

The Guardian reported that: “the flagship scheme would continue to be made available for the parts affected by the highest level of coronavirus restrictions.”

Chancellor Sunak’s statement comes after the Bank of England’s new £150 billion stimulus package to strengthen the U.K.’s economy.

This follows numerous calls to extend the scheme till at least spring from both Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress and Carolym Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, calling for measures to get the country through a tough winter.

The scheme is expected to have benefited about 9.6 million people in total after a high initial take-up.

It is however, unclear as to how many jobs it has safeguarded or delayed the disappearance of untenable jobs.

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