Posted: Sun 1st Nov 2020

Furlough scheme extended until the end of November for all UK nations Treasury confirms

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Nov 1st, 2020

The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of November for all UK nations the Treasury has confirmed.

The move follows Boris Johnson’s announcement of Saturday evening that England will enter a month-long lockdown.

Speaking during a live address, Mr Johnson said he has been left with “no alternative” other than to introduce a lockdown in England following a sharp rise in Covid cases.

He said, from “Thursday until the start of December” people in England “must stay at home.”

“You may only leave home for specific reasons, including:

For education; For work, say if you cannot work from home; For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own with one person from another household; For medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm; To shop for food and essentials; And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.” He said.

The prime minister said: “I’m afraid non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will all be closed – though click and collect services can continue and essential shops will remain open, so there is no need to stock up.”

“Pubs, bars, restaurants must close except for takeaway and delivery services.”

“Workplaces should stay open where people can’t work from home – for example in the construction or manufacturing sectors.”

Mr Johnson said: “I am under no illusions about how difficult this will be for businesses which have already had to endure hardship this year. I am truly, truly sorry for that.”

“This is why we are also going to extend the furlough system through November. The furlough scheme was a success in the spring.’

“It supported people and businesses in a critical time. We will not end it. We will extend it until December.”

Following the announcement Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford said he’d asked chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the furlough scheme in Wales but he refused.

Mr Drakeford tweeted: “Furlough is crucial for businesses. But @RishiSunak said he wouldn’t extend it in Wales when we asked.”

“He also said no when we asked him to bring forward the Job Support Scheme to help businesses – we even said we’d pay the difference. It’s now clear he could have said yes.”

“I’ll be holding discussions tomorrow with HMT (treasury) to ensure Welsh businesses get full access to the support outlined tonight.”

“Our cabinet will also meet to discuss any potential border issues for Wales in light of the England lockdown. The Welsh firebreak will end on November 9.”

The treasury later confirmed “people and businesses across the UK” are being provided with additional financial support “as part of the government’s plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak.”

“Today the Prime Minister said the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough scheme – will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme, which ends today.”

“This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.” The treasury said.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast this morning, Wales’ health minister Vaughan Gething said he welcomed the “fact that furlough has been extended.”

He said “it’s obviously disappointing that when the Welsh fire break was introduced, in our conversations with the UK Treasury, we were told it was impossible to increase, extend or change the way that financial support was working.”

“That decision in England has now been made, and it’s had a consequence for the whole UK in the way the Treasury is prepared to support jobs and businesses.

So we were told things weren’t possible, It’s now clear that they are. That’s good news for Wales’s businesses for now but there’s a period of uncertainty.” Said Mr Gething.

“All of this is about the balance and saving lives and livelihoods, which is why we chose to act (with the fire break) earlier, we could see that the exponential growth (of Covis cases) needs to be interrupted.”

“What I hope the decision in England (to enter a four week lockdown) will do in every part of the UK and obviously so here in Wales, is to change the nature of our public debate around the significance of the threat of coronavirus.” He said.




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