RISHI Sunak is set to extend furlough in tomorrow’s Budget as the minister confirms there will be a “raft of measures” made.
The Chancellor is expected to include a fourth furlough scheme extension when he makes his public economic proposals tomorrow.
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Rishi Sunak is expected to extend the furlough scheme
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has signalled that Chancellor will announce the extension during his public announcement of the Budget on Wednesday.
Mr Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast: “I think the Chancellor has already indicated that we will be extending furlough.
“I think that has been part of a public announcement. I think there will be other measures that we will see tomorrow.”
The Budget will be held this week on Wednesday March 3.
The Chancellor takes centre-stage as he outlines the government’s plans for tax hikes, cuts and things like changes to Universal Credit and the minimum wage.
Mr Sunak has already hinted that the furlough scheme is likely to be extended to the end of June.
Asked on Sophy Ridge on Sunday if the furlough scheme supporting businesses during the pandemic would be extended, Mr Sunak said: “I said at the beginning of this crisis that I would do whatever it took to protect people, families and businesses through this crisis.
“And I remain completely committed to that, the PM in the road map set out a path for us to recover and reopen and I want to support people and businesses along that path.
“I’m not going to comment on specific policies but I want to make sure people realise that we are going to be there to support them and if you look at our track record we went big, we went early and there’s more to come next week.”
The government currently covers 80% of an employee’s wages if they have been furloughed, up to £2,500 a month under the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme.
It has been extended three times already. Firstly, it was pushed back from its initial deadline of May 31 to October 31 2020.
The scheme was then extended to last until March 31, 2021 following the second national lockdown in England.
And Mr Sunak then extended it until the end of April in December.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last week that the Government wouldn’t “pull the rug out” on economic support when he outlined the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown.
Mr Sunak has put Britain’s beleaguered high streets at the heart of his economic plans, promising a £5bn lifeline for bricks-and-mortar shops and pubs.
Meanwhile there could be a new levy for online retailers – though experts have previously warned this could be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.
The Budget is due to take place at around 12.30pm, once Prime Minster’s questions ends in the House of Commons.
The update will focus on the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis.