Karin Smyth MP urges UK Government to adopt new ‘smart’ furlough scheme to protect 7,875 jobs in Bristol South
Karin Smyth – MP for Bristol South – is urging the Government to adopt a new ‘smart’ furlough scheme to protect the jobs of South Bristol employees.
Seven months after the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, launched his ‘Plan for Jobs’ last July, 4,925 people are claiming out of work benefits and 7,875 people are still on furlough in South Bristol.
The Chancellor’s initially triggered a one-size-fits-all wind down of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in his Plan for Jobs last July. After several last-minute changes over the autumn and winter, the scheme is now set to expire at the end of April.
Karin is joining her Labour colleagues in calling for the immediate announcement that the furlough scheme will be extended to remove uncertainty for local businesses and workers. She is also calling for urgent reform to make furlough smarter, with new training to help furloughed workers improve their skills and tough conditions on employers to stop abuse.
Labour’s figures show that 4,500 people in South Bristol had made claims under the Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) by the end of July. The Chancellor has left millions of self-employed people relying on the SEISS in the dark about future support.
Labour is calling on the Chancellor to set fourth grant of the SEISS at 80% of pre-crisis profits – and to do it now, not at the Budget.
Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:
“The Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs has been a disaster. Seven months after its launch, we’ve got record redundancies, soaring unemployment and the worst economic crisis of any major economy.
“We need urgent action to secure, recover and create jobs to help 4,925 people claiming out of work benefits and 7,875 people still on furlough in South Bristol. This must include a smarter furlough scheme, an overhaul of the failing Kickstart youth programme, and reform of the shambolic Green Homes Grant as part of wider action to ‘Build it in Britain’ and support the creation of new jobs.”
“People in South Bristol cannot afford to wait for the Chancellor to get his act together. They need emergency action today, not more dither and delay until the Budget.”