Live as Rishi Sunak announces new furlough and Covid measures

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Live as Rishi Sunak announces new furlough and Covid measures

Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined his plan to protect jobs by replacing the vacation program on Thursday.

The Chancellor will reach out to the Commons with an announcement of new financial measures in support of individuals and businesses following the cancellation of this year’s budget.

Earlier announcements included paying 80 percent of their wages when they couldn’t work, half of restaurant meals in August, and grants for home improvement.

Its Winter Economy Plan will reportedly include sales tax cuts, loans to hard-hit businesses, and wage subsidies.

The government and business could share the cost of increasing wages for workers who can only work part-time due to the pandemic.

One option reportedly being considered to replace the vacation program is German short-time work, or a shorter working time policy, which allows companies to cut working hours in economic downturns by allowing the state to compensate for some of their lost income.

Another proposal provides subsidies for companies that can offer employees at least 50% of their normal working hours, with the cost of non-working hours shared equally between the company, the Treasury and employees.

Mr Sunak’s intervention comes after increasing pressure from business groups, MPs and unions to extend the vacation program, fearing the new restrictions could harm the economy.

Number 11 said work on the program had been done in parallel with budget preparation with a focus on jobs to avoid the expected three million unemployed.

New rules came into effect in England on Thursday for hospitality, leisure, entertainment and tourism businesses to close at 10 p.m. The compulsory wearing of face covers has been expanded to include higher fines.

Tighter rules will go into effect in Wales from 6pm on Thursday and more restrictions will apply in Scotland on Friday, including indoor mixing, despite calls for compliance from Wednesday.

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