JRF responds to targeted extension of furlough scheme

JRF responds to the Chancellor's announcement of a targeted extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme after 2nd December.

Dave Innes, Head of Economics at the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said:

“The Chancellor is right to acknowledge that the health crisis and its economic impacts are likely to last well into the next few months, by giving businesses the certainty they need to plan and to keep as many people as possible in their jobs.

"The Chancellor did not take this opportunity to extend that certainty and reassurance to the 16 million people in families receiving Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit, who face a £20 drop in their weekly income next April. The Government must confirm that this vital lifeline will stay in place and be extended to people receiving legacy benefits. We also didn't hear that the eviction ban will be extended. This was a vital protection for renters during the first lockdown, and without it we could see a wave of evictions and increased homelessness.

“The Chancellor did not indicate that people unable to work at points this winter because of caring responsibilities, or a return to shielding, are covered by the furlough scheme’s extension. No one should have to choose between income and health, and the Chancellor should confirm that these groups will get the support they need.