By Alex Glenn • 30 September 2021 • 9:41
Furlough comes to an end with nearly 1 million people still signed up to the scheme.
The furlough scheme put in place by the UK government ends today, Thursday, September 30. The schema has cost around £70 billion, and has helped millions of people during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to figures from the ONS, around 1 million people could face uncertainty as the programme ends.
Economists have predicted that unemployment rates will rise. They have said that many people will be able to find jobs in recovering sectors including travel and hospitality. They also predicted a rise in redundancies though.
It is expected that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will unveil a new scheme worth £500 million. The scheme is expected to help poorer households with cost of living expenses.
The head of UK equities at Lazard Asset Management, Alan Custis, has predicted that unemployment will rise slightly. Last month this dropped to 4.6 per cent.
He commented: “There will also be a percentage who choose retirement over returning to work, but we would expect the unemployment rate to settle at around 5% for the year end, before falling in 2022.”
When coronavirus financial support schemes came to an end in both Australia and the US they saw unemployment rates spike.
Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Christine Jardine has called on Mr Sunak to extend the furlough scheme. She has called for the scheme to be extended for around six months in multiple sectors.
Ms Jardine said: “The withdrawal of furlough risks having a devastating impact on countless families already facing a winter of soaring energy bills.
“The Government needs to rethink its approach or the country could face a Coronavirus Black Thursday.”
The hospitality industry hopes many people will head there for jobs. The chief executive of UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls, stated: “With businesses currently experiencing a record number of vacancies, our hope is that those seeking employment will consider the varied and exciting opportunities a career in hospitality offers.
“With the right support and conditions, the sector has the potential to be at the forefront of the economic recovery.
“In order to drive further job creation, we urge Government to implement a long-overdue reform of business rates and a permanently lower rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism in order to help fragile businesses back on their feet.”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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