North Ayrshire & Isle of Arran MP, Patricia Gibson, has secured and will lead a debate this week on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS), calling on the UK Government to address the ongoing injustice of those excluded from the scheme and halt plans to withdraw furlough support at the end of October.
The CRJS scheme supported 9.6 million jobs since the pandemic began and is currently being wound down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, despite warnings it will lead to a wave of job losses.
The Institute for Public Policy Research - IPPR - estimates the loss of 3 million jobs, most of which would remain viable in the longer term if furlough continues. The Fraser of Allander Institute reports that 55% of Scottish businesses using the CJRS expect to reduce employee numbers when it ends.
Speaking ahead of her debate, Mrs Gibson said:
“Millions of livelihoods are at risk from the arbitrary decision to end vital furlough support next month. This allowed employers to close their workplaces and protect public health whilst securing employee livelihoods.
“While many businesses have reopened, others await further lockdown easing before some or all of their staff can return to pre-Covid working hours. Numerous, otherwise viable businesses are simply not in a position to keep staff in their jobs without this crucial support.
“In much of Europe, support schemes are being extended, not curtailed, with Germany investing 4% of its annual income in recovery compared to the UK’s feeble 1.3%. We must save jobs that are sustainable in the longer term, until our economy is more robust. Many self-employed, people overlooked entirely by the CJRS, must also be included. Otherwise we face a wave of job losses and millions will face enormous ongoing financial hardship, with some sectors of our economy taking years to recover.”