The Government’s economic plan is one of the most comprehensive in the world.
We have provided:
- Billions of pounds of grants and loans for businesses
- Tens of billions of pounds of deferred taxes
- Income protection for millions of the self-employed
- And a strengthened safety net to protect millions of the most vulnerable people.
These schemes speak to my and this Conservative government’s values. We believe in the dignity of work. And we are doing everything we can to protect people currently unable to work.
Yesterday, my Right Honourable Friend the Prime Minister set out our plan for the next phase of the public health response. Today I can confirm the next stage of our Jobs Retention Scheme.
The scheme has been a world-leading economic intervention, supporting livelihoods and protecting futures. 7.5 million jobs have been furloughed – jobs we could have lost if we had not acted. Nearly a million businesses who could have closed shop for good. And as we reopen the economy we will need to support people back to work. We will do so in a measured way.
I can announce the job retention scheme will be extended, for four months, until the end of October. By that point, we will have provided eight months of support to British people and businesses.
Until the end of July, there will be no changes whatsoever. Then from August to October the scheme will continue, for all sectors and regions of the UK, but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work. Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part time. And to change their incentives, we will ask employers to start sharing, with government, the costs of paying people’s salaries.
Full details will follow by the end of May, but I want to assure people today of one thing that won’t change: Workers will, through the combined efforts of government and employers, continue to receive the same overall level of support as they do now, at 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500. I’m extending this scheme because I won’t give up on the people who rely on it.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords