Committee adds pressure

MPs call for ‘targeted extension’ to furlough

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak: ruled out an extension

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is coming under further pressure to introduce “targeted extensions” to the coronavirus furlough scheme.

The scheme has supported workers temporarily laid off but is due to end on 31 October.

The Treasury Select Committee has joined those calling for action to avoid widespread job losses if the job subsidy scheme is not extended.

It has agreed with the government that a blanket retention of the scheme would not be good value for money, but feels there is scope to support selected sectors.

Committee chairman Mel Stride said: “The chancellor should carefully consider targeted extensions to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and explain his conclusions.

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“The key will be assisting those businesses who, with additional support, can come through the crisis as sustainable enterprises, rather than focusing on those that will unfortunately just not be viable in the changed post-crisis economy.”

Under the retention scheme workers placed on leave have received 80% of their pay up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

But firms are now making a contribution to wages as the scheme began to wind down.

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