The Coronavirus crisis has left countless families facing financial hardship, and although the furlough scheme is protecting many workers from redundancy, there have been warnings from the Bank of England that unemployment could double. The Chancellor has said he wants to 'wind down the scheme' but doing so in the short term will cause damage to workers, their jobs and the economy in the long term.
The economic recovery from lockdown will not be immediate and that is why Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to continue some furlough payments as lockdown is eased so we can help businesses to rebuild, stop job losses, and stop unnecessary damage to our communities.
Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey, who is asking the public to join his campaign to protect furloughed workers, said his party's plans would give people "that time and that confidence and help avoid further large-scale job losses."
The call comes as a challenge to the Chancellor who has raised alarm when he said the level of expenditure on the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) was "not sustainable" and he wanted to "wind down" the scheme. The scheme is currently covering nearly a quarter of UK jobs, 23% of the employed workforce.
The Liberal Democrats have suggested the Treasury pays 50 per cent of employees’ salaries on the Job Retention Scheme in the first month after they have returned to work. By the third month back in work, the government would pay 30 per cent of their salaries, under the proposals.
Read more from Andrew on Twitter and Facebook.