To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support will be offered to people who struggle financially when the furlough scheme ends.
19 November 2021
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was set up to support employers to retain their employees through the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, the scheme has succeeded in supporting 11.7 million jobs across the UK with employer claims totalling £70 billion, aiding businesses, and protecting livelihoods. At the start of this crisis, unemployment was expected to reach 12 per cent by the OBR. They now expect it to peak at less than half that, which means more than 2 million fewer people out of work than previously feared.
Now that the scheme has ended, the government is prioritising support for those coming off furlough and onto Universal Credit (UC) by providing immediate referral to the online Job Finding Support (JFS) scheme. Previously furloughed jobseekers on UC will get immediate voluntary access to 1-2-1 advice from a skilled adviser, with support including writing CVs, access to group sessions, a mock interview, understanding digital recruitment processes, presenting transferable skills and applying for jobs in new sectors. The offer will run until the end of December 2021.
The government is committed to helping low-income families with the cost of living, including providing £500m for a new Household Support Fund to help vulnerable households with costs for essentials such as good, clothing and utilities over the Winter.
The government is also taking decisive action to make work pay by cutting the UC taper rate from 63p to 55p, and increasing UC work allowances by £500 p.a. These measures mean that 1.9m working households will be able to keep substantially more of what they earn, and they effectively represent a tax cut, worth around £2.2 billion a year in 2022-23 for the lowest paid in society.