Job support u-turn welcome, but millions face Winter without enough to live on

22 Oct 2020
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Extension of scheme too little too late for many after weeks of local lockdowns

GMB, Britain’s general union, says an extension to employment support schemes announced today is ‘welcome’ but still leaves millions facing Winter without enough to live on.

The Chancellor’s u-turn comes after widespread criticism of his previous, flawed Winter Economic Plan – and as it is revealed that almost 3 million employees remain furloughed just days before his scheme ceases to operate at the end of October.

John Phillips, GMB Acting General Secretary, said:

“It is of course welcome the Chancellor is finally taking action to address deficiencies of his Winter Economic Plan and removing excuses for employers not to retain their workforces.

“But after weeks of local lockdown chaos on top of months of worry and uncertainty, this could be too little, too late for many workers.

“There are almost 3 million UK employees still furloughed as the clock ticks down on the scheme, while others face renewed uncertainty as fresh local lockdowns bite across the country.

“Today’s measures will still leave many struggling to feed their families as Winter sets in - and relying on Universal Credit applications to top up incomes.

“The Chancellor has already been forced to rip up and revise his flawed Winter Economic Plan before the Autumn is out. It remains to be seen if this has come soon enough to protect jobs and incomes through the months ahead.”

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