Is the furlough scheme being brought back? - The Evesham Observer

Is the furlough scheme being brought back?

Evesham Editorial 14th Dec, 2021 Updated: 14th Dec, 2021   0

AS THE Omicron variant continues to spread to spark fears of a so-called ‘Plan C’ in the new year, is the furlough scheme being brought back?

Wages of hundreds of thousands of Worcestershire employees were paid by the government when the pandemic hit last year to prevent mass job losses.

The government brought in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in early 2020 when the pandemic first forced businesses across the country to close.

And while there has been no furlough in place since September 30 of this year, ministers are now being urged to consider support in the event of a further lockdown.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned Britain should be prepared to bring back support if there are closures.

In its yearly analysis of the UK, the group of economic experts said in ‘the event of a virulent Covid-19 wave requiring widespread mandated closures, the authorities should be ready to redeploy a subset of the most successful previous exceptional programmes’.

This includes furlough scheme and targeted support to the most vulnerable households and small businesses, the IMF said.

In response, a Treasury spokesman said: “We’re taking the action set out in our Winter Plan and are acting early to help control the virus’s spread – while avoiding unduly damaging economic and social restrictions.

“Our £400billion covid support package will continue to help businesses into spring next year and we will continue to respond proportionately to the changing path of the virus, as we have done since the start of the pandemic.”


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