Chancellor Rishi Sunak has revealed that furlough is to be extended until the end of September. The news which was announced yesterday, ahead of today’s budget, was welcomed. by hospitality groups.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said, “Extending the full scheme up to and beyond the point of full reopening of the sector is a welcome move. It will help keep businesses afloat and more jobs secure as they trade their way back to prosperity in the years to come. This means it is more important than ever that the Government sticks to its plan to allow full reopening of venues on the 21st of June.
“Expecting businesses to contribute to the scheme from the end of July is a worry, though. It will place unnecessary pressure on fragile businesses just as they are beginning to get back to their feet. It is also very disappointing not to have employer National Insurance Contributions removed from the scheme. Businesses are burning through their cash reserves and many will have exhausted them before they have a chance to reopen. Not all businesses are going to be out of the traps instantly. It will take time for them to reopen and they will be racking up costs in the meantime.
“It is now more important than ever that the Chancellor delivers a wider package of support in his Budget statement. Extended furlough alone will not be enough to give businesses the support they need to survive the Spring and Summer, particularly if businesses are now incurring additional costs. We must have an extension of the VAT cut and business rates holiday if we expect to see businesses survive and thrive after the crisis has passed.”