MP ‘cautiously’ welcomes new job protection scheme

Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has cautiously welcomed new job protection schemes revealed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but says further details are needed.

Rishi Sunak announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be replaced by the Jobs Support Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which allowed employers to furlough staff on 80 per cent of their wages, largely paid by the Government, comes to an end on October 31.

Andrew Gwynne MP

The Jobs Support Scheme will allow employers to keep employees in their jobs on shorter hours (at least a third of their normal hours). This will be paid by the employer, with the rest largely being paid by the Government.

The Labour Party has been pushing for a replacement to the furlough scheme for months, to ensure that there is not an unemployment crisis in the winter. The party has proposed a range of flexible and targeted schemes to give support to sectors and regions that need it.

There is concern that the Chancellor’s delay in announcing a replacement for furlough has led to an increase in unemployment.

Mr Gwynne said: “I welcome that the Chancellor has finally acted and know that many employers and employees in my constituency will be relieved to have more certainty about their future plans.

“Whilst the measures are welcome, it was obvious to many – not just those of us in the Labour Party, but also in trade unions and businesses – that furlough would need to be replaced and I am very disappointed that it took the Chancellor this long to finally act.

“I am glad that the Chancellor has promised support for the self-employed, but we need more detail. Far too many people were excluded from the first round of schemes, plunging millions into severe financial difficulties. They should not be ignored again.

“As welcome as many of these schemes are, it is clear that many jobs will now be lost. This makes reform of the welfare system all the more urgent.”

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