At Prime Minister’s Questions today, the MP for York Central called for the Government to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which the Government plans to axe this October.
17,700 workers in the York Central constituency are currently on furlough many of whom work in the hard-hit retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Business leaders have told the MP that although they are optimistic about the future, they are effectively facing their third winter in a row, and without Government support to tide them over a great many of these jobs will be lost.
In recognition that the recovery from the Coronavirus Pandemic will be long, Governments in other countries are offering a more extended period of support including in Germany where it has been announced that their equivalent scheme has been extended to December 2021.
Rachael Maskell MP says:
“York has over 30,000 people working in the tourism, leisure and retail sectors that have all been particularly badly affected by this crisis. Although there are some promising signs, many businesses in the constituency are facing a very difficult and uncertain winter. 22% of York’s workforce are currently on furlough and these jobs are now hanging in the balance.
“Governments in other countries have recognised that the recovery from this crisis may be lengthy and have extended their support accordingly. It is absolutely essential, particularly for a city like York, that our Government urgently takes a longer-term view and provides the support needed to help these otherwise thriving sectors through this crisis.
“I am very fearful that by cutting this vital lifeline at this critical time, York will see extremely high levels of unemployment that will have a devastating impact on the lives of people in the city now and in the future. The Prime Minister said that the Government would put his arms around the workforce, but people in York don’t need his arms they need their jobs. This is why I will continue to fight for the Government to extend the furlough scheme, in a targeted and flexible way, to avert this completely unnecessary disaster.”