Rishi Sunak expected to extend furlough beyond December
Rishi Sunak is expected to announce an extension of furlough beyond December, making the scheme available to Scotland if it is needed in the future.
The Chancellor will make a statement to the House of Commons Thursday afternoon, following the Bank of England’s announcement of a £150bn stimulus package to help maintain the economy through coronavirus restrictions.
The Scottish Government as well as UK wide industry bodies and the Trade Union Congress have called for the scheme to be extended.
The job retention scheme, which sees 80 per cent of people’s wages paid, was extended until 2 December as a month-long lockdown was announced for England.
Since, devolved governments in Scotland and Wales have been asking for clarity on whether such an extension would be available in other parts of the UK, should further lockdown measures be required in future.
Boris Johnson indicated on Monday that it would be made available, but Nicola Sturgeon demanded the commitment in writing after UK Government ministers suggested it would be a decision for Sunak to make in any case.
Asked about it during PMQs, Johnson said that more detail would be laid out by the Chancellor on Thursday.
The Confederation of British Industries said that furlough should be extended until spring 2021.
The Bank of England announced on Thursday morning that it will inject £150bn into the economy through quantitative easing measures, citing the looming prospect of rising unemployment.
It is hoped the measure will help the UK avoid another recession.