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Rishi Sunak warned he has 24 hours to avoid ‘historic mistake’ on furlough scheme

Tom Shearsmith
31 July 2020

Rishi Sunak has been warned by the Labour party that he has just 24 hours to change course on the Government's furlough scheme or risk making a "historic mistake".

Labour warned that thousands of jobs could be lost if he did not abandon his “one-size-fits-all” withdrawal of furlough support.

From 1 August, employers will have to pay National Insurance and pension contributions for their staff. From 1 September, companies will have to pay 10% of furloughed employees’ salaries, which rises to 20% in October.

Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds has now accused Rishi Sunak of having "failed to match up to the scale of the crisis". The opposition have claimed it will lead to companies "handing P45 notices to workers across the country".

Dodds continued: "The Chancellor’s refusal to abandon his one-size-fits-all withdrawal of furlough is a historic mistake that risks a python-like squeeze on jobs in the worst-hit sectors. The reward for months of hard work and sacrifice by the British people cannot be a P45.

"It's not too late for the Chancellor to see sense, change course and support the businesses and sectors that need it most. But even if he does, there is still much to do.

"The government should back viable businesses that are still impacted by Coronavirus, support the self-employed and come up with a plan to drive job creation as we emerge from the pandemic.

"It must ensure our NHS and care services are fully prepared for a second wave – because we won’t recover from this economic crisis until the government gets a grip on the health crisis."

Measures proposed The Labour Party include reforming the job retention scheme to support the worst-hit sectors, setting up a £1.7 billion fund to prevent companies from closing, providing extra support for areas forced into local lockdowns, and a boost to the rights of workers.

Labour also has called for extra spending on infrastructure to help create jobs and retrain workers.

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