Rishi Sunak to make statement on furlough scheme and jobs

On Thursday, September 24, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is making a statement today to outline his plans for the furlough scheme and jobs.

The furlough scheme which has cost the government £39.3 billion to date, is due to finish at the end of October.

At 11.45am today he will outline the next plan to further protect millions of jobs in sectors hit by the government’s latest coronavirus guidance.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new restrictions as the number of new Covid-19 cases rose by more than 6,000, earlier in the week.

From today, the new restrictions come into effect, including a 10pm curfew for pubs, restaurants and bars.

With the furlough scheme ending, there are fears the new restrictions could further damage the economy.

Mr Johnson said the new restrictions could be in place for the next six months, and with the furlough scheme ending in October, businesses are worried about support being withdrawn.

Mr Sunak is now facing increasing pressure from business groups, MPs and unions to extend the furlough scheme.

  • Coronavirus outbreak at Greggs factory as staff test positive for Covid-19

The Treasury said: "We will always be honest with people about the difficult trade-offs that are involved here.

"Not between health and the economy, but between keeping people in jobs and helping them find new ones.

“And between help in the here and now and rebuilding in the future. That's what people deserve."

The Chancellor initially announced his move via Twitter, with a graphic titled "Winter Economy Plan".

  • Scientists to 'deliberately infect UK volunteers' with Covid-19 in vaccine test

This initiative will include VAT cuts, loans for hard hit businesses and wage subsidies, according to reports.

The government might help further by sharing the cost of topping up wages for employees only able to work part-time due to the pandemic.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that the economic support to replace the furlough scheme is due to be announced later today, and has been set in train since the summer.

He told Sky News: "The Chancellor is going to set out the details in the House of Commons later and I'll let him do that.

"What you've seen over the past nine months since this crisis started, you've seen an unprecedented amount of economic support to keep jobs going, to support businesses that have been terribly hit by this, and we're determined that that should continue."

  • Full list of places you must wear face coverings from tomorrow – and where you don’t

Mr Hancock was quizzed on why the Chancellor had waited until now to announce the measures, and said: "We've said throughout that sadly we're not able to protect every job and every business.

"But I think in terms of the timing of this, we've been working on the winter plan for the economy and options in case cases started to go up again since the summer and with the Prime Minister having set out the next steps in terms of the health side on Tuesday, now the Chancellor is coming to the House today – two days later – to set out the economic package for the winter plan that goes with that."

Source: Read Full Article