Extending the furlough scheme beyond September has been ruled out by the prime minister.
The furlough scheme changes from today (July 1) with employers now having to pick up 10 per cent of their furloughed workers’ salaries.
Under the original road map plan, all measures were due to have been scrapped on June 21 but Boris Johnson opted to delay by a month in a bid to vaccinate more of the population against the Delta variant.
The final stage of the road map has since been pushed back until July 19.
The furlough contribution from employers is due to rise after that date to 20 per cent in August and September, with the scheme closing before October.
The SNP led calls at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday for furlough to be extended beyond September, in recognition that some sectors would struggle to get back up and running after months of closures.
But the PM said that the UK had the ‘highest and strongest’ immunity against the Delta mutation and argued there was no need for furlough to continue.
SNP health spokeswoman Dr Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire) said: ‘Due to his failure to maintain strict border quarantine and the delay in adding India to the red list, cases of the Delta variant are surging across the UK.
‘As well as a marked regional variation, the biggest ongoing impact is on sectors such as hospitality, entertainment and aviation.
‘So rather than starting to reduce financial support from tomorrow, will the prime minister agree to extend full furlough and business support beyond September, particularly for those geographical areas and businesses which are most affected?’
Johnson replied: ‘No, because although the Delta variant is indeed seeded and growing in at least 74 countries around the world, including this one, this is the only country or the country where the protection by immunity against the Delta variant is the highest and the strongest.
‘And that’s why we’re going to continue with our cautious but irreversible road map and I hope it will command her support.’