Thursday, December 2, 2021


Chancellor expected to extend furlough scheme to September

The chancellor is expected to extend the government's furlough scheme – currently paying 6.5 million la..

By admin , in England , at May 12, 2020

The chancellor is expected to extend the government's furlough scheme – currently paying 6.5 million laid off workers 80% of their earnings – from June to September.

But Rishi Sunak is expected to cut the payments to 60% of earnings, although he will pledge to continue to top up the wage packets of laid off staff if they return to work part time.

The move, which the Chancellor insists will avoid the "cliff-edge" cut-off of the scheme feared by Tory MPs and business leaders, is aimed at preventing an estimated 1.2 million redundancies.

The Treasury believes firms such as retailers are unlikely to need all of their staff when they first reopen, because social distancing rules mean shops will have to be less crowded.

A part-time furloughing scheme, therefore, could allow companies to bring back more staff on a rota and prevent steep cuts, ministers believe.

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Signalling Mr Sunak's announcement, Boris Johnson told MPs: "I have no desire to steal his thunder.

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"I think that the furloughing scheme has been one of the most remarkable features of the government's response.

"It is unlike anything seen internationally, with 6.5 million people currently being supported. It is absolutely right that we should do it.

"One of the most salient and important features of this country's response to this crisis so far is that we have looked after some of the lowest-paid people in our society – the hardest-working people – and we will continue to do so."

Mr Sunak, who is likely to announce the changes at the daily Downing Street coronavirus news conference, is expected to lower the £2,500 cap on monthly payments as well as reducing the wage subsidy.

It is thought he will announce that self-employed workers with trading profits of more than £30,000 could be barred from claiming government grants. At present the threshold is £50,000.

PM takes questions from public

Welcoming the changes, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, told The Daily Telegraph: "We would like to see it extended through to the end of September.

"Particularly as we are seeing the very cautious approach to reopening the economy, the last thing we want is unnecessary redundancies."

The Government is also issuing advice to employers on hRead More – Source

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