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Extend the furlough scheme, says Ilford South MP, as he urges government to listen to ‘united voices’

PUBLISHED: 13:11 10 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:48 10 September 2020

Ilford South MP Sam Tarry advocated for an extension to the furlough scheme in a House of Common's debate yesterday (September 9). Picture: Sam Tarry

Ilford South MP Sam Tarry advocated for an extension to the furlough scheme in a House of Common's debate yesterday (September 9). Picture: Sam Tarry

Archant

The MP for Ilford South has called on the government to extend the furlough scheme, believing such a move would give people “real hope of a better tomorrow”.

Speaking at the furlough scheme extension debate on Wednesday, September 9, Sam Tarry dismissed the cost reasons that have been given for closing the scheme at the end of October.

He said, at a cost of £35billion, the financial investment in the furlough scheme runs at “a fraction” of “the £500bn used to bail out the banks” during the global financial crisis.

With this in mind, he believes there is no reason to end the scheme in October and risk 4.5 million people becoming unemployed, as has been predicted by the Bank of England (BoE).

Mr Tarry told the Commons that the unemployment levels predicted by the BoE are “worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s”, and should they materialise, will have “a catastrophic effect on our nation’s finances”.

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Recent furlough figures for Redbridge suggest that ending the scheme next month will hugely impact his Ilford South constituency.

HM Revenue and Customs data showed that, as of the end of July, 46,100 furlough claims were made in Redbridge, amounting to more than a third (34 per cent) of all eligible jobs.

Mr Tarry urged the government to follow the example set by many of its European counterparts who have committed to similar schemes for a longer period.

With France and Germany both supporting their workers up until 2022, Mr Tarry asked the question: “So why cut our own lifeline after just eight months?.”

The government’s stance has remained unchanged, with chancellor Rishi Sunak outlining the position in his summer statement back in July.

He said then: “Furlough has been a lifeline for millions supporting people and businesses to protect jobs. But it cannot and should not go on forever. It gives people false hope that they would be able to return to the jobs they had before.”

Yet Mr Tarry has called for a revision of this stance, saying: “Will the government listen to the united voices of business and unions, bosses and workers, and change course before it’s too late?”


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