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Treasury declines to comment on furlough extension speculation

22 January 2021 by
Treasury declines to comment on furlough extension speculation

The government has declined to comment on speculation that the furlough scheme is set to be extended beyond 30 April.

It comes after Bloomberg reported Chancellor Rishi Sunak is drawing up plans to keep the programme in place after its current expiry date.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which sees the government pay up to 80% of staff wages up to £2,500 a month, was originally due to end last October.

A Treasury spokesperson said further details would be confirmed during the Budget on 3 March.

They added: ''We've invested more than £280b throughout the pandemic to protect millions of jobs and businesses – and extended our self-employed and furlough schemes through to April so that people have certainty that help is in place.

"At the upcoming Budget the government will set out how we'll ensure public services continue to receive the investment they need.

‘'We'll also outline the next stages of our Plan for Jobs to support businesses and families across the UK. That has been our priority throughout the past year and it will be the priority for the year to come."

Under the current furlough scheme employers are still required to pay National Insurance and pension contributions for hours not worked.

Sunak previously said he would review the employer contribution element of the programme in January 2021, but there have been no further announcements.

UKHospitality has written to the Chancellor calling for a raft of support measures in the Budget, including extending the CJRS until June and allowing flexible furlough.

The trade body also said an extension of the hospitality VAT cut to 5% for a further 12 months and continuation of the business rates holiday would help aid the sector's recovery.

Photo: Shutterstock

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