Sunak talks down extending furlough scheme
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has dismissed the idea of extending the furlough scheme beyond October, warning that it cannot “carry on indefinitely”.
Sunak was speaking during a visit to Scotland, where the devolved government has been vocal in calls to extend the furlough scheme.
He told Good Morning Scotland that “most reasonable people” would agree that furlough could not continue for an indefinite period, adding that it would be “wrong to keep people trapped in a situation and pretend there is always a job that they can go back to” because it “won’t always be the case”.
He added: “In those situations, it’s better we look forward and provide those people with new opportunities.”
The chancellor indicated that 65,000 Scottish businesses have received over £2 billion in loan support already.
MSP and Scottish economy secretary Fiona Hyslop, who announced new support measures for Scottish businesses on Friday, called for Scotland to be given further borrowing powers to help boost the economic recovery.
She told the Good Morning Scotland programme that such powers would be used “flexibly” and “responsibly” to “stimulate the economy and support jobs.”
However, Sunak highlighted that Holyrood had already been given “significant flexibility” on funding and that the UK government would explore “revising and reviewing the fiscal framework over the next year or so”.