Interactive Investor

More Britons return to work, but millions remain on furlough lifeline

3rd June 2021 10:58

Myron Jobson from interactive investor

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interactive investor comments on latest furlough scheme statistics.

Furlough numbers have fallen to their lowest level this year, according to official statistics published today, as the number of people relying on the scheme fell to 3.4 million.

Commenting, Myron Jobson, Personal Finance Campaigner, interactive investor, says: “The weaning-off process has well and truly begun, with many Britons returning to work following the easing of Covid restrictions in recent months. But there is still a long way to go to get the remaining 3.4 million back to work before the scheme is wound up at the end of September.

“The harsh reality is not everyone will have jobs to return to, as while the furlough scheme protected businesses that, through no fault of their own, were forced to shut up shop during government-enforced lockdowns, it also protected businesses that were already in a precarious state.

“The furlough scheme has been a resounding success in keeping a lid on unemployment during the pandemic. However, there will without question be a price to pay for keeping millions in a job which is likely to hit our back pocket one way or another through taxes rises, spending cuts or a mixture of both.”

Key points:

  • 1.3 million fewer employees accessed the furlough scheme in March and April, according to new data.
  • the furlough scheme will remain in place until the end of September to ensure jobs are protected as businesses get back on their feet.
  • new figures also show that a total of 2.8 million people have benefited from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

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