Industry welcomes the further extension to furlough

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Industry welcomes the further extension to furlough

Related tags Furlough lockdown Coronavirus Restaurant Public house

The industry has welcomed the extension of the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) by another month until the end of April next year.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the extension today (17 December) meaning that the Government will continue to pay up to 80% of the wages of those workers who have been furloughed.

The JRS had been set to come to an end at the end of March.

“Extending the furlough scheme and committing to a Government contribution of 80% through to the end of April is a hugely positive move,” says Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association.

“With today’s regional tiering review meaning 85% of England’s pubs are now closed or unviable under tier two or tier three restrictions, Government support is more critical than ever.”

McClarkin says she hopes the Government will now turn its focus to a support package to protect hospitality businesses as well as “committing to a roadmap out of this crisis” in line with the vaccine rollout.

“Pubs and brewers need enhanced grant support, extended business rates holidays and VAT reductions and a cut to the rate of tax on beer,” she says.

“It is only with that kind of backing that Britain’s brewers and pubs will be in a position to reopen, continue to employ all those staff currently furloughed and help lead the much-needed economic recovery.”

Making his announcement, the Chancellor said the extension would provide certainty for “millions of jobs and businesses” that continue to struggle under lockdown restrictions.

"Our package of support for businesses and workers continues to be one of the most generous and effective in the world - helping our economy to recover and protecting livelihoods across the country," he  said.

"We know the premium businesses place on certainty, so it is right that we enable them to plan ahead regardless of the path the virus takes, which is why we're providing certainty and clarity by extending this support."

Sunak also announced an extension to the Government’s Covid-19 business loan schemes until the end of March.

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