Ilford MPs issue warnings as figures show more than 30,000 furloughed
PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 June 2020
Constituencies in Ilford have seen more than 30,000 jobs furloughed, figures show.
By constituency, Ilford North has an estimated 13,700 workers on the coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) which provides grants to employers of up to 80 per cent of salary to a maximum £2,500 per employee.
Ilford South has 17,500 employees on the scheme which is due to continue until the end of October.
This compares to 29,300 in nearby West Ham which has the highest number on furlough in the capital, according to the figures released by HMRC.
Ilford North MP Wes Streeting said the figures show how necessary the job retention scheme is.
Mr Streeting added: “However, the stark increase in benefit claimants throughout my constituency and the rest of the country show the levels of unemployment and job insecurity that we’re facing as a result of this recession.
“I’m worried the chancellor is winding up the scheme too quickly. Many businesses, including the [small to medium enterprises] which make up a large percentage of businesses in Ilford North, will not be in a position to increase their contributions in August.
“The immediate impact will be redundancies and an increase in what will already be a level of structural unemployment we haven’t seen for decades.”
He urged the chancellor to recognise that a “one size fits all” approach won’t work, especially for businesses hit hardest and longest by lockdown.
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The scheme is based around HMRC’s pay as you earn (PAYE) system. For an employer to qualify they need to have created a PAYE scheme by March 19.
From July 1, employers can bring employees back to work who were furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for their normal hours not worked.
Ilford South MP, Sam Tarry, said he feared people will be laid off as the government winds the scheme down.
He called for a sector by sector approach to ending the CJRS, with the impact on businesses, including Ilford’s many pubs, hotels and eateries, of particular concern.
He added the loss of small to medium sized businesses would have a “huge impact”, vowing to lobby government to make sure unemployment doesn’t sky rocket, councils are supported and businesses receive the help needed to get back on their feet.
A Treasury spokesperson said: “We have provided a generous and wide-ranging package of support for businesses.
“Our job retention scheme has helped a million employers and protected 8.9 million jobs.
“As well as furloughing staff, we’ve introduced a wide range of targeted support measures for different sectors, including bounce back loans and tax deferrals, business rates holidays and more than £10 billion of grants to businesses.”
Almost all the country’s 650 MPs have at least 10,000 constituents furloughed.
HMRC’s analysis covers the start of the scheme until May 31.
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