Uk news Jobs fears as Rishi Sunak says furlough will be replaced by new scheme MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Despite the gloss, economic experts warned the Chancellors new jobs scheme means many furloughed workers now face redundancy.
Breaking News ! Millions of workers furloughed during the covid crisis face huge uncertainty after Rishi Sunak confirmed he would replace the scheme with one that pays a third of wages in "viable jobs". The Tory chancellor said furlough, which helped over 800,000 Scots over the last six months, will end in October as scheduled. Sunak said the £40 billion a month furlough could not go on forever and that he could not protect every job in the UK. Instead a new jobs scheme will be open to employees who can work at least a third of their normal hours. For the remaining hours not worked, the government will pay for a third, and employers will pay a third. Read More Related Articles Get the latest Scottish politics headlines with our new daily newsletter Read More Related Articles Rishi Sunak's new jobs support scheme - what it means for furloughed workers, self-employed and small businesses It means workers on the scheme will be paid at least 77 per cent of their normal salary, with a subsidy cap of £697.92 a month. In effect, the Government will pay 22 per cent of supported wages instead of the 80 per cent support at the height of lockdown. Paul Johnson, of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, warned the scheme was less generous than furlough, and would likely lead to "a lot" on furlough losing their jobs. He said: "This is a very big change from furlough and less generous. Remarkably the Chancellor provided no indication of the likely cost of the scheme. "He is trying to plot a difficult path between supporting viable jobs while not keeping people in jobs that will not be there once we emerge from the crisis. With employers now having to pay at least 55 per cent of the normal wages of their employees it is clear that many jobs will be lost over the coming months. "The Treasury can't pay all wages forever. But a lot on furlough now likely to lose their job." SNP Treasury spokeswoman Alison Thewliss: "little comfort to those who have already lost their jobs due to the impending ending of the furlough scheme”. In the Commons, the SNP said the Tories are "threatening Scotland's economy and risking a winter of mass redundancies" by failing to deliver the investment and powers needed to save jobs. SNP MP Alison Thewliss welcomed the support extension but noted: "He is coming very late in the day to do this, and it is of little comfort to those who have already lost their jobs due to the impending ending of the furlough scheme." The Scottish Government estimates 61,000 jobs in Scotland are at risk without extended furlough support. Thewliss said Kate Forbes, the Scottish Finance Secretary, had been "treated with contempt" after Sunak scrapped the UK budget without consultation, threatening, she said, the Scottish Government's ability to plan for its own budget.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds: “We must ensure these measures are as effective as possible in getting people back into work and keeping viable businesses in operation.”
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But she said: "There's much in this statement we do support. We've repeatedly called for a system of targeted wage support and we’ve repeatedly called for help for indebted cash-strapped businesses over and over again." Frances O’Grady TUC General Secretary, who was consulted on the scheme alongside business leaders, was pleased "the Chancellor has listened and done the right thing" but warned there is "still unfinished business". She said: "Unworked hours under the scheme must not be wasted. Ministers must work with business and unions to offer high-quality retraining, so workers are prepared for the future economy." Carys Roberts, of the respected IPPR think-tank, struck a pessimistic note that by delaying until the final hour many jobs had already been lost. She said: "This was billed as a winter economic plan, but with the Budget now on ice, big questions remain about the Chancellor’s next steps. The economy is in its deepest recession in generations, and he urgently needs a plan for new, green, well-paid jobs. "He also mustn't forget the millions who have lost hours or are already out of work: he must invest in universal credit to prevent poverty and boost spending."
Rishi Sunak in the Commons said it is everybody’s responsibility to defeat coronavirus as “the cost is paid by all”
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Sunak told the Commons: "Today's measures mark an important evolution in our approach. Our lives can no longer be put on hold. Since May we have taken steps to liberate our economy and society. "We did these things because life means more than simply existing. We find meaning and hope through our friends and family, through our work and our community. He added: "The truth is the responsibility for defeating coronavirus cannot be held by Government alone. It is a collective responsibility shared by all because the cost is paid by all." Boris Johnson was miles away visiting police recruits in Northamptonshire while the chancellor explained plans to a public he acknowledged were "anxious, afraid and exhausted" by the crisis.
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