Rishi Sunak ‘rules out furlough extension’ despite likely delay to lockdown lifting

Monday, 14th June 2021, 8:31 am
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will continue with the winding down of the wage support scheme from the start of next month (Getty Images)
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will continue with the winding down of the wage support scheme from the start of next month (Getty Images)

Rishi Sunak has ruled out extending the furlough scheme despite pleas from businesses, according to a report.

The Chancellor will continue to wind down the wage support scheme from the start of next month, even though the Prime Minister looks set to delay the expected end of lockdown in England by a month.

Earlier this year, Mr Sunak announced that the Treasury would stop subsidising 80% of the salaries of people not at work.

From the start of July, the government’s contribution will drop to 70% - with 10% being paid by the employer - as part of a staged withdrawal from the scheme which is set to end in September.

The British Chamber of Commerce has urged the Chancellor to delay the winding down of the scheme.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls told the newspaper: “There is no doubt that any extension to the restrictions will be challenging for sectors yet to open and those still trading at a loss to navigate.”

However, sources told The Daily Mail that the timetable for ending the scheme would remain the same.

They added that the Treasury had already ‘gone long’ in case there was a delay to lockdown lifting.

The Job Retention Scheme - otherwise known as furlough - has saved millions of jobs during the pandemic.

Since the country was plunged into the first national lockdown in March 2020, the government has paid workers using the Job Retention Scheme up to £2,500 a month.

The programme was scheduled to finish at the end of June 2020, before being extended another five times.