Local MP hails ‘unprecedented’ UK Government support as £70bn furlough scheme winds down
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid has hailed the unprecedented level of support the UK Government provided to local businesses and employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – commonly known as ‘furlough’ since March 2020.
The scheme, which ends today (30 September 2021) after 19 months, supported at its peak over a third of the UK workforce totalling some 11 million jobs, including 910,000 in Scotland.
Under the scheme, the UK Government covered 80% of wages, eventually winding down to 60% with employers having the option of covering the rest.
The scheme, which was announced within 4 days of the initial lockdown and was processing the first claims within a month, was an historic effort by HM Treasury – which invested some £70bn into protecting jobs and livelihoods and supporting the families who rely on those wages.
Now, as restrictions are relaxed and the economy is reopening, the Chancellor, having extended the scheme several times has said it is the right time to close the scheme.
In Banff and Buchan, the furlough scheme supported over 15,000 jobs during the pandemic.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid said:
“The Furlough scheme ends today after an unprecedented act of support from the UK Government during the pandemic.
“Over 11 million jobs across the UK, 910,000 in Scotland and 15,000 in Banff and Buchan, were protected and countless businesses were saved from ruin.
“It is right that as the economy reopens, we would down the scheme in recent months and return to normal practice.
“And it is important that we recognise the truly herculean efforts of the UK Government to support jobs and families across the whole United Kingdom.”