Tapering of furlough scheme premature - Murphy

Daniel Fowler
May 31, 2020

Sunak said: "We stood behind Britain's businesses and workers as we came into this crisis and we stand behind them as we come through the other side".

Mr Moore, who owns London restaurant Pied a Terre, said it is unfair for hospitality firms to start paying towards wages when they do not have any revenues. There are now 8.4m workers on the furlough scheme with one million businesses taking advantage of the subsidy.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a second grant for self-employed workers in August, and revealed details of the contributions businesses will have to make to the furlough scheme until the end of October. The scheme was launched in March and was initially meant to last just three months, in anticipation of a V-shaped economic recovery that is no longer expected to materialise.

Firms will only be able to apply for the job retention scheme or furlough additional employees until June 30. Sunak said workers will continue to receive 80 per cent of their pay - up to £2,500 a month - until the end of October.

The Government will cover 70 per cent of wages up to £2,190 in September, with employers to pay National Insurance and pension contributions and 10 per cent of wages, representing 14 per cent of the gross employment costs.

The Office for Budget Responsibility, the government's independent economic forecaster, has forecast that the overall bill for the government's jobs subsidy schemes could hit £80bn, pushing the overall cost of fighting the coronavirus outbreak to more than £300bn.

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"Our five million-strong self-employed community will be greatly relieved to know that the income cliff-edge they were facing in two days' time has now been removed", said Mike Cherry, of the Federation of Small Businesses.

Mike Cherry, the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "By providing employers with the adaptability they'll require as businesses adjust to a new normal, and bringing forward the flexible furlough launch date, the government is giving hope to small firms right across the United Kingdom".

The cost of the two income programmes was now likely to shoot past £100 billion, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a think tank, said, about as much as for the NHS over the same March-October period. This is equivalent to 70 per cent of the previous level of payment at £7,500.

Employers should pay the staff normally for the hours they are working - and then claim the rest from the government.

What cash is available to self-employed workers?

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