Almost four in 10 jobs furloughed in Scarborough, new figures show

Almost four in ten eligible jobs in Scarborough have been furloughed since March, with hundreds more added to the scheme, figures show.

Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 3:40 pm
The Government paid 80% of employees’ wages through Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Job Retention Scheme. Photo: PA Images

The Institute for Public Policy Research and Resolution Foundation think tanks are calling for the Government to extend or modify the Job Retention Scheme beyond October, to avoid triggering a spike in unemployment.

Figures from HM Revenue and Customs show around 17,200 claims to furlough jobs were made in Scarborough by the end of July – 500 more than at the end of June.

At 38% of all eligible jobs, it means Scarborough is one of the areas most reliant on the scheme in the UK.

During this time, the Government paid 80% of employees’ wages through Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s scheme, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per employee.

Jobs at firms which are unable to operate or have no work for their employees because of coronavirus are eligible for furlough.

From September, the Government’s contribution will drop to 70% of wages, with employers having to make up the extra 10%, before the scheme is expected to end in October.

But the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said that would be a “historic mistake”, and an extension is urgently needed.

Carsten Jung, IPPR senior economist, said: “The jobs recovery is real, but it looks slow and fragile. “Reforming and extending the scheme now could prevent jobs losses and boost the economy in this time of need.”

Also set to end in October is the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which allowed the self-employed to claim a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits between March and May, up to £7,500.

Separate figures from HMRC show around 4,900 people in Scarborough had applied to the scheme by the end of July – 77% of eligible workers.

A Treasury spokeswoman said: “We’ve been clear that we can’t sustain this situation indefinitely but the end of the furlough scheme is not the end of our support for jobs.”

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