MP fears for furloughed workers as looming end of scheme approaches

MP fears for furloughed workers as looming end of scheme approaches

by Tom Martin (September 2020)

THE end of furlough payments next month will have an impact on people in West Lancashire, according to the borough’s MP.

Rosie Cooper has criticised the government’s “blanket approach” to withdrawing the support scheme, which has been in place since March and will finish at the end of October.

The government and Chancellor Rishi Sunak has repeatedly ruled out an extension of the furlough payments, claiming it can’t “carry on indefinitely”.

Since March, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has paid 80% of the wages of workers placed on leave, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

The government has already started to wind down the process, and from the start of September companies using the scheme are now having to contribute to workers' wages.

Rosie Cooper believes different approaches are needed depending on the industry. So those in retail or aviation will need continued support after the October deadline.

Tens of thousands of job losses have already been announced across the UK and more redundancies are expected in these sectors, yet they have received no tailored support.  

MP Cooper said: “My West Lancashire constituents need to have confidence that the government is on their side, looking out for their needs and is providing specific support to the industries and communities we have here, from manufacturing to agriculture and from urban to rural. 

“The north west is at risk of feeling deeper consequences of the recession and Ministers need to ensure they are considering all areas and industries when announcing changes to schemes like furlough or introducing new schemes, to ensure they are for the benefit of the whole of the UK.” 

The Trades Union Congress has told the government not to risk a “tsunami of unemployment” when it ends.

Nearly ten million people are on furlough and think tanks have predicted ‘Great Depression’ levels of unemployment, with 2.5m jobs at risk when the scheme ends.

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