News from Len Duvall OBE: Changes to The Furlough Scheme Risk the Livelihoods of Local People
Lewisham Deptford constituency saw one of the sharpest increases in Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims in the capital last month, according to City Hall analysis. Figures show that the number of claimants in the constituency rose by 4000, over the course of June. Local London Assembly Member, Len Duvall AM, said that the Government’s planned changes to the furlough scheme would place the “livelihoods of local people at risk” and has called for its extension in key sectors. This comes in the wake of new findings published by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research which project that a premature end to the furlough scheme could push the national unemployment rate up to 10%.
The CJRS was introduced by the Government in March to enable businesses, forced to close or suspend operations due to the Covid-19 outbreak, to place their staff on furlough on at least 80% of their usual pay.
During his recent Summer Statement, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced that the CRJS will begin to wind down from this weekend, eventually coming to an end in October.
Despite this, the latest stats show that the number of furlough applications across London rose by 216,700 last month. City Hall analysis has also revealed that the hospitality, food and arts and entertainment sectors have seen the highest furlough rates amongst their workforces.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has now warned of a surge in unemployment across the capital if the Government proceeds with imminent changes to the scheme requiring struggling businesses to pay the national insurance and pension contributions for furloughed employees.
Local London Assembly Member, Len Duvall AM, said:
“The furlough scheme has been vital in preventing a catastrophic wave of unemployment across our country.
“As we begin to emerge from the first outbreak, these figures add further proof that many London businesses will remain dependent upon the furlough scheme for the foreseeable future.
“We need a cautious and nuanced approach to protecting jobs, but the Government’s planned changes to the scheme could place the livelihoods of local people at risk.
“I am backing the Mayor’s calls for the Government to urgently scrap its short-sighted proposals and look into extending the jobs retention scheme for key sectors in the capital”.