Northern Ireland news

Conor Murphy calls for furlough scheme to be extended beyond November

The furlough scheme should be extended beyond the end of November, Finance Minister Conor Murphy said. Picture by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

The furlough scheme should be extended beyond the end of November, Northern Ireland's finance minister has said. 

It comes after the British government announced on Saturday that the scheme, which sees the Treasury paying employees wages, would be extended by one month.

The Job Support Scheme planned to come into force today on 1 November will now be postponed with the Furlough Scheme being extended for a month. This will see employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked being paid by Treasury (up to a cap of £2,500).

Mr Murphy said: “Many businesses have been faced with tough decisions about redundancies which has not been helped by the lateness of this decision by Treasury. It remains unclear whether the Furlough Scheme will be extended beyond the end of November, and I will be pressing for this.

"The weeks and months ahead will continue to be very challenging – businesses and workers need certainty that the support offered by the Furlough Scheme will remain in place.

“The Executive is doing everything in its power to support the economy and Treasury must do the same by providing certainty at the earliest possible opportunity.”

The mortgage payment holidays, which had also been due to end on 31 October, has been extended for six months for homeowners financially affected by the pandemic in all regions of the UK.

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Northern Ireland news