Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced an extension to the furlough scheme that is helping millions of workers through the coronavirus crisis.
More than 6m people are currently having up to 80% of their salaries paid by the Government during the coronavirus pandemic in a huge Government intervention designed to help businesses through the crisis.
The Chancellor had warned that he wanted to “wean” staff and companies off the programme which currently runs until the end of June – but businesses and business leaders had asked for it to be extended.
Mr Sunak today confirmed the scheme would continue until October and vowed that he and the Government would continue to support British businesses and workers. He said he would continue talking to unions and to business groups about his plans for the economy.
The Chancellor told the Commons: “It is something that weighs heavily on my mind – every person who loses their job through this difficult period is a person that this Government is determined to stand behind.”
His statement received a largely warm welcome from business leaders, with the British Chambers of Commerce calling the news a “huge relief”.