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Treasury Committee urges furlough scheme rethink

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is being urged to "carefully consider" targeted extensions to the coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) before the scheme winds down next month.

As part of an inquiry into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Treasury Select Committee warned of a mass unemployment if the CJRS was to end on 31 October 2020, as planned.

The grant is due to decrease to 60% at the start of October for wages up £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough, down from 80% of earnings up to £2,500 in August.

In July, the Treasury Committee called on the Government to provide more support for those who missed out on coronavirus support schemes, including freelancers, contractors and directors.

Mel Stride, chair of the Treasury Committee, said:

"The Committee's disappointment that the Government did not implement our recommendations to help those who have fallen through the gaps in support persists.

"Our second report of the inquiry focuses on emerging challenges as lockdown measures are lifted, and targeting assistance effectively at those businesses and individuals who need it.

"The Chancellor should carefully consider targeted extensions to the coronavirus job retention scheme and explain his conclusions.

"The key will be assisting those businesses who, with additional support, can come through the crisis as sustainable enterprises, rather than focusing on those that will unfortunately just not be viable in the changed post-crisis economy."

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