Borders MP welcomes extension of furlough scheme to end of October

Borders MP John Lamont has welcomed chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak’s announcement that the UK Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme is to be extended to the end of October.

Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 5:28 pm
UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak taking part in a national round of applause for carers in London. (Photo by Tolga Akmen/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Lamont, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, said: “I know that both employers and employees in the Borders will be glad to see the UK Government extend this scheme.

“This is another significant package to help the British people get through this terrible crisis.

“Over 7.5 million workers have benefited from this scheme, costing billions of pounds.

“I want to congratulate the chancellor and all the civil servants at the Treasury for their efficient work at delivering this package.

“It has no doubt saved millions of jobs.

“The added flexibility after July will also make it easier for organisations to transition back to normal.

“I know that businesses in the Borders have been concerned about having to take employees off furlough as they start the process of getting ready to reopen for customers.

“The new changes should make this much easier.”

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Rachael Hamilton has also welcomed Mr Sunak’s pledge, saying: “The chancellor said he will do whatever it takes, and he has delivered.

“This is announcement is very much welcomed.

“It’s vital that our economy gets back on its feet as soon as it’s safe. This scheme allows that to happen.

“We know that 374,000 Scots are in jobs that would have been lost if it were not for the coronavirus job retention scheme, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

“The broad shoulders of the UK mean 800,000 firms are being supported by the job retention scheme, and Scottish employees and employers have been given an enormous safety net.

“We are all in this together, and the UK Government is delivering for Scotland through this crisis.”

Mr Sunak announced the four-month extension of the furlough scheme, previously due to end in June, in the House of Commons yesterday, May 12.

Businesses will be expected to start chipping in to help foot the £8bn-a-month bill for the scheme from August, however.

Full details of how the extended scheme will work will follow by the end of the month, Mr Sunak promised.

He told MPs: “Until the end of July, there will be no changes whatsoever, then from August to October, the scheme will continue for all sectors and regions of the UK but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work.

“As we reopen the economy, we need to support people back to work.

“Between August and October, the scheme will continue but with greater flexibility to support people back to work.

“We will share the cost of paying people’s salaries.”

He added: “Full details will follow by the end of May, but I want to assure people today of one thing that won’t change.

“Workers will, through the combined efforts of government and employers, continue to receive the same level of overall support as they do now, at 80% of their current salary up to £2,500 a month.

“Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time.

“We stood behind Britain’s workers and businesses, and we will stand behind them as we come out of it.

“Nobody who is on the furlough scheme wants to be on this scheme.

“People up and down this country believe in the dignity of their work, going to work, providing for their families. It’s not their fault their business has been asked to close or asked to stay at home.”