Furlough scheme should be extended -Anderson

Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson said today that the furlough scheme should be extended beyond the end of April.

The Foyle MLA said:

“The publication today of the furlough statistics shows the number of people furloughed in the north increased from 68,000 at the end of October to 94,800 at the end of December and is reflective of the increased restrictions. 

“It’s likely that the number of workers on furlough remains at this level or higher. 

“The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April. The current restrictions will be in place until at least the beginning of March and eased gradually. The British government must move to extend the scheme further.

“The British government also needs to remove the burden of national insurance and pension contributions on employers, particularly for small businesses.

“For some employers these contributions are a real struggle. This is putting jobs at risk because employers cannot keep up their contributions over the next number of weeks.

“It is vital that the British government moves to extend furlough and ensures businesses can support jobs to give much-needed certainty to businesses, workers and their families.”