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Rishi Sunak to ‘extend furlough scheme until March after second lockdown’

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The Chancellor will reportedly extend the furlough scheme until March – as England heads into a second lockdown.

Sources told the BBC that the details will be confirmed in a statement in the House of Commons shortly.

It is unclear if workers will receive the 80% introduced in the first scheme.

Furlough has already been extended to cover the four-week lockdown in England.

It is expected to apply longer in areas that face higher levels of coronavirus restrictions, including Tier 3 parts of England, The Sun reports.

The Scottish and Welsh governments argued the scheme should be on offer if they also enter full national lockdowns.

Leading business and trade union figures have called for greater financial support.

Carolyn Fairbairn, outgoing director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), tweeted: “As lockdown shutters come down for many firms, extending furlough till next Spring is the right thing to do.

“Firms and employees need more certainty and stability to plan and recover; a JRS extension will help.

“@RishiSunak should act in his statement tomorrow to protect jobs.”

Frances O’Grady, the Trades Union Congress general secretary, said: “Working families need financial security to get through the times tough ahead. And employers need an end to last-minute decisions.

“The Chancellor must extend the furlough scheme and support for the self-employed into the spring.”

The Bank of England has already announced it will pump a further £150 billion into the economy.

Andrew Bailey, the central bank’s governor, said the decision was made after the “dramatic impact” of the impact of the coronavirus.

  • Coronavirus

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