The Government’s coronavirus furlough scheme will be extended to the end of October but with changes from the end of July to share the burden of paying salaries with employers, Chancellor Rishi Sunak told MPs. Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said many were taken aback by comments attributed to Government officials suggesting people need to be “weaned off an addiction” to the furlough scheme.
She said she had only heard about the Chancellor’s changes “in the last few seconds” and will examine them “very, very carefully”.
Ms Dodds said people do not want to be furloughed, adding in the Commons: “It’s critically important they are not penalised for that choice. We welcome the flexibility mentioned, we’ve asked for this repeatedly.”
Mr Sunak replied: “The use of the word ‘addiction’ is not one I have ever used and not one I agree with.
“Nobody who is on the furlough scheme wants to be on this scheme.
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“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.
“That is why I established this scheme to support these people and their livelihoods at this critical time.”
Addressing the Commons, the Chancellor said furloughed employees will be able to go back to work on a part time basis between August and October.
With a joint effort between the Government and employers, people will be able to return to earning 100 percent of their salary.
“Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time,” the Chancellor said.