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UPDATE 1-UK not minded to extend furlough scheme, minister says

Wed, 23rd Sep 2020 08:00

(Adds comments, background)

LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Britain's finance minister is
not minded to extend a furlough scheme that is currently
scheduled to stop at the end of October, his colleague Dominic
Raab, foreign minister, said on Wednesday.

"I don't think the Chancellor's minded to wholesale extend
the furlough scheme, we are looking at the targeted measures,"
Raab told Sky News on Wednesday.

Britain announced new restrictions on pub and restaurant
opening times on Tuesday after a surge in COVID-19 cases in
September and warned that the measures could last for six
months.

Opposition leaders have been calling for the scheme to be
extended to avoid a cliff edge effect they fear could see many
people lose their jobs for good, particularly as new COVID-19
restrictions could hamper the economic recovery.

Raab said that the finance minister Rishi Sunak kept all
measures under review, and that new help for employers through
the retention bonus and the kickstart scheme would help avoid a
cliff edge, but the furlough would not be the answer.

"I think it's inevitable that the furlough scheme will come
to an end in the way that the chancellor has described," he told
the BBC.
(Reporting by Kate Holton and Sarah Young, writing by Estelle
Shirbon; editing by James Davey and Andy Bruce)

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