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Coronavirus outbreak: UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak extends furlough for another month

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which sees the government pay furloughed employees 80 per cent of their wages up to a maximum of 2,500 pounds, will now continue until the end of June, the Metro newspaper reported.

SNS Web | New Delhi |

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the governments furlough scheme will be extended by one month amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the report.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which sees the government pay furloughed employees 80 per cent of their wages up to a maximum of 2,500 pounds, will now continue until the end of June, the Metro newspaper reported.

It was originally open for three months and backdated from March 1 to May.

Addressing the media on Friday, Sunak said: “We’ve taken unprecedented action to support jobs and businesses through this period of uncertainty, including the UK-wide Job Retention Scheme.

“With the extension of the coronavirus lockdown measures yesterday (Thursday), it is the right decision to extend the furlough scheme for a month to the end of June to provide clarity”, Sunak added.

Earlier this week, Sunak said that the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis would be “significant, but temporary”, exuding confidence that Britain’s economy will bounce back “quickly and strongly” once the coronavirus pandemic is brought under control.

On Thursday, the country has extended its lockdown to tackle the coronavirus for “at least the next three weeks”, as it remains among the countries worst-hit by the pandemic with hundreds dying daily from the disease.

The government has insisted there are indications the lockdown is working and that the pandemic is peaking in Britain, with Raab saying the infection rate is thought to have dramatically reduced.

Last month, Sunak announced that the UK government would pay 80 per cent of wages for employees not working, up to 2,500 pounds a month.

Business groups and union leaders held discussions with the Chancellor to push for help to pay wages and prevent businesses from collapsing and wiping out thousands of jobs.

The country has recorded another 847 coronavirus deaths in hospitals, raising the overall total to 14,576.

The increase is slightly down on the 861 released on Thursday.