New figures show vast scale of support to workers under furlough and self-employment support schemes

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New figures show the scale of support still being offered to workers under the Government’s furlough and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Latest figures to the end of May show more than 6.4 million jobs were furloughed in England, with more than 628,000 jobs furloughed in Scotland, 316,500 in Wales and nearly 212,000 in Northern Ireland.

The number of self-employed individuals making claims is more than 2.3 million across the UK – just over 2 million claims in England, totalling almost £6 billion; 146,000 in Scotland, totalling £425 million; 102,000 claims for £273 million in Wales; and 69,000 claims for £198 million in Northern Ireland.

The total UK working population was around 33.14 million at the start of the year.

Some 70 per cent of those potentially eligible for support through the self-employment scheme made a claim, with the average value of claim amounting to £2,900.

With city centres deserted during lockdown, employers in the wholesale and retail sectors have furloughed the highest number of employers, covering 1.6 million jobs.

Many of those will be returning to work as restrictions on non-essential shops lift on Monday.

The next biggest sector using the scheme was accommodation and food service, where employers have furloughed 1.4 million people.

As the economy opens up again, from the end of this month companies will not be able to claim support for staff through scheme unless those workers were already on furlough on June 10.

The CJRS scheme will continue to support jobs until the end of October, with flexible part-time furloughing beginning in July to support businesses as the economy is carefully reopened.

Eligible self-employed people will be able to claim a second and final grant in August.

There are fears that as the level of support changes, redundancies and people being forced to claim Universal Credit will grow.

The two schemes are part of an economic support package for individuals and businesses during the pandemic which has included loans, grants, income tax deferrals, rental support, increased levels of Universal Credit, and mortgage holidays.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our unprecedented coronavirus support schemes are protecting millions of vital jobs and businesses across the whole of the United Kingdom – and will help ensure we recover from this outbreak as swiftly as possible.

“We have extended both schemes so they will continue to provide measured support across the UK as we start to reopen the economy.”


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