Boris Johnson has warned there can be no further extension to the Government’s furlough scheme despite a fresh wave of job losses across the country.
Ministers are facing calls to extend the programme – which has protected more than 9 million jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic – following the announcement this week of thousands of lay-offs in the retail and aviation sectors.
But in an interview with London’s Evening Standard, the Prime Minister insisted it was not “healthy” for either the economy or the employees concerned to maintain the scheme beyond its planned end date in October.
“I’ve got to be very, very blunt with you. We’ve spent £120 billion supporting people, it’s a huge commitment and we have put our arms around people,” he said.
You are keeping people in suspended animation. You are stopping them from actually working
“The best way forward for us now is to work together to beat the virus and get the economy back on its feet. We’re going to do amazing things; we’re going to build, build, build, invest massively in our country.
“But I think people need to recognise that the particular restrictions that furlough places on you are not, in the long term, healthy either for the economy or for you as an employee.