Covid: Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend furlough scheme to end of March

THE furlough scheme will be extended across the UK until the end of March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed.

Mr Sunak said the scheme will pay up to 80% of a person’s wage up to £2,500 a month. He told the Commons that the government will review the policy in January.


The chancellor said his intention was “to give businesses security through the winter”.

“The security we are providing will protect millions of jobs,” he added.
The furlough scheme subsidises the wages of people who cannot do their jobs, either because their workplace is closed or because there is no longer enough work for them.

Mr Sunak said it would apply throughout the UK, saying the country had “a Treasury for the whole of the United Kingdom”.

As part of the revised scheme, anyone made redundant after 23 September can be rehired and put back on furlough.

What other measures did the chancellor announce?

Mr Sunak also announced billions of pounds of other support for the economy, including more money for self-employed people.

Support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be increased, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.

At the same time, the chancellor raised guaranteed funding for the UK’s devolved administrations by £2bn to £16bn.

But, many people will remain ineligible for help, including the newly self-employed, those whose pay themselves in dividends, freelancers, and sole traders who previously had a trading profit of more than £50,000.

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