Prime minister urged to act on furlough replacement

Prime minister Boris Johnson has been urged to act quickly to introduce measures to support companies in hard-hit sectors when the furlough scheme ends next month.

Johnson was pressed on his plans during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, following reports that chancellor Rishi Sunak was weighing up options to offer additional wage support akin to schemes in place in Germany and France.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer said the jobs threat was “not theoretical”, with many employers already instigating redundancy consultations ahead of the end of the scheme.

He added: “The CBI, the TUC, the Federation of Small Business, the British Chamber of Commerce and the Governor of the Bank of England are all calling on the PM to stop and rethink and don’t withdraw furlough.

“We have saying it for months. When is the prime minister finally going to act?”

Johnson ruled out an “indefinite extension” of the furlough scheme, but reiterated comments made on Tuesday that the chancellor was looking at “creative and imaginative measures” to offer further support.

The chancellor later tweeted that he would make a statement to the Commons on Thursday.


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