Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has called for the Furlough (Job Retention) Scheme to be extended beyond October 31st to protect jobs and livelihoods.
The Foyle MLA said:
“The Furlough (Job Retention) Scheme has been a lifeline to many businesses, with tens of thousands of workers here placed on furlough during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The ending of the furlough scheme on 31st October will come as a devastating blow to many businesses some of whom have as yet been unable to reopen fully or at all.
“If the scheme closes as proposed it would without doubt result in wide scale redundancies, and impact particularly in vulnerable economic sectors and constituencies.
“I am once again calling for the extension of the Furlough Scheme and for flexibility within the scheme to support sectors that can’t re-open or have to close again due to clusters or future lockdown.
“We have asked the Economy Minister for an impact analysis of the ending of the Furlough Scheme on our local economy. My party colleague Caoimhe Archibald MLA for East Derry has written to the British Chancellor asking him to reconsider the ending of the scheme until at least the end of the year and to introduce flexibility to allow businesses that may be forced to close in the event of clusters or a second lockdown to enter the scheme.
“This will be vital to help businesses to survive and retain workers, and to protect jobs and livelihoods.”