NEW analysis by the Labour Party estimates that around 4,700 people were still fully furloughed by their employer in the middle of August in Llanelli.
This means 44 per cent of workers who were moved onto the Government’s Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS) in the early phase of the Covid-19 crisis remain fully furloughed by their employer over four months later.
Labour’s figures also show that 2,300 people in Llanelli had made claims under the Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) by the end of July.
Despite this, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is pushing ahead with his one-size-fits-all withdrawal of both the CJRS and SEISS schemes across the entire economy by the end of October. Many other countries’ schemes last longer or have been extended. The UK is an outlier in fully withdrawing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme after only six months:
- Germany has extended the coronavirus furlough scheme to 24 months
- France’s “temporary unemployment” scheme to avert mass bankruptcies and lay-offs as a result of the coronavirus crisis will be extended, and is now expected to last up to two years
- The Netherlands has recently extended by 9 months their short-time working scheme
- Australia has extended their ‘JobKeeper’ payment until March 2021
- Ireland’s Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme lasts until March 2021
Llanelli MP, Nia Griffith, said:
“The UK Government ending the scheme will mean people will lose support even if their business is not yet back to normal or if they live in an area that may become subject to new local restrictions.”
“Labour’s motion for today’s Opposition Day Debate calls on the UK Government to introduce targeted income support to businesses and self-employed people in the sectors of the economy hit hardest by the virus, and in parts of the country that become placed under local restrictions due to rising rates of infection.”
“This targeted extension is vital. If the Government chooses to oppose Labour’s motion today, people in Llanelli who are in jobs hardest hit by the pandemic, like the 2600 working people with jobs in manufacturing and pubs & clubs, will be wondering why this government doesn’t seem to care about their livelihood.”