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Furlough scheme ‘to be extended until September’

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11/05/2020
The UK’s Job Retention Scheme is to be extended until the end of September but at a reduced rate of 60% of a worker’s salary, according to reports.

Changes to the furlough scheme could be announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak as early as tomorrow, the Telegraph said.

The newspaper said cabinet ministers have begun telling bosses that the furlough scheme will continue to run during the summer, with the government covering 60% of a furloughed employee’s salary, down from the current 80%.

A Treasury source told the paper that talks about the furlough scheme were ongoing.

Figures from HMRC published last week revealed 6.3 million people were furloughed in the first two weeks of the job retention scheme launching, at a cost of £8bn to the state.

Sunak last week said spending on the furlough scheme was similar to that of running the NHS.

Speaking on ITV News, he said: “Clearly that is not a sustainable situation which is why, as soon as the time is right, we want to get people back to work and the economy fired up again.”

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which pays 80% of a workers’ salary up to £2,500 a month, was originally due to run until the end of June.

Sunak said there will be no “cliff edge” ending of the scheme amid fears it would trigger mass redundancies.

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