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Furlough scheme extended until September

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The furlough scheme is to be extended until the end of September, the chancellor will confirm at this afternoon’s Budget.

Speaking ahead of his official announcement in the Commons today, Rishi Sunak acknowledged that the scheme had been a ‘lifeline’ to many during the pandemic and said it ‘is only right we continue to help business and individuals’ as the country begins its roadmap out of lockdown.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has protected more than 11 million jobs since its inception last March and had been due to end in April.

As part of the extension, employers will be expected to pay 10% towards the hours their staff do not work in July, increasing to 20% in August and September, as the economy reopens.

Today Sunak will deliver his statement to the Commons, outlining a three-point plan to rebuild the economy, ‘fix’ the public finances and support people through the next few months. He has however warned of tough economic times ahead amid reports that he will raise some taxes.

Speaking ahead of the Budget, the chancellor said: “Our Covid support schemes have been a lifeline to millions, protecting jobs and incomes across the UK.

“There’s now light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap for reopening, so it’s only right that we continue to help business and individuals through the challenging months ahead – and beyond.”

Some 600,000 more self-employed people will also be eligible for government help as access to grants is widened.

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