Monday 5 October 2020 / 9:31 AM Anneliese Dodds

Britain under restrictions: one million jobs at risk, as Sunak’s furlough cliff edge looms

Britain under restrictions: one million jobs at risk, as Sunak’s furlough cliff edge looms


Nearly one million people living in areas with additional Covid-19 restrictions face a ‘jobs cliff edge’ in a few weeks’ time, as Labour accuse the Chancellor of failing to support businesses and communities most at risk from a second wave.


The Government’s furlough scheme is due to expire at the end of the month. However, new analysis by Labour reveals that 490,000 people still on furlough are now living under localised restrictions and another 480,000 are living in towns or cities on the national watch list.


Thousands of people living in the North and Midlands now risk losing their jobs, including 43,000 people in Birmingham, 19,400 across Durham and 11,500 in Bolton.


Despite a rise in infections and huge swathes of the country being placed under further restrictions, Labour said the Chancellor had failed to deliver an economic package to protect businesses and jobs most at risk from a second wave.


Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, Anneliese Dodds, urged Rishi Sunak to use his party conference speech to “get a grip of this crisis before it’s too late”.


Anneliese Dodds said:


“The Government’s failure to get a functioning track, trace and isolate system working means large swathes of the country, including in the North and Midlands, are now under additional restrictions and face a jobs cliff edge.


“Labour urged the Chancellor to introduce a wage support scheme that incentivised employers to keep more staff on. However, he ignored these calls and now nearly a million jobs are at risk when the furlough scheme ends in a few weeks’ time.


“When he speaks at Conservative Party Conference, Rishi Sunak must promise to get a grip of the jobs crisis before it’s too late. If he doesn’t, Britain risks an unemployment crisis greater than we have seen in decades – and Rishi Sunak’s name will be all over it.”