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MPs hail the success of ‘lifeline’ furlough scheme

THE FURLOUGH scheme introduced by the government to protect jobs as the pandemic took hold has preserved 52,500 posts in Milton Keynes.

The scheme ended last month and Milton Keynes’ two Conservative MPs have both hailed the scheme a major success.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in March last year whereby the government would pay an initial 80% of monthly salary to furloughed workers, with employers given the option of topping up the remaining 20%.

Millions had moved off the scheme ahead of the deadline on September 30 and, as 260,000 left the CJRS in August, statistics show that notifications for redundancies in the same month were 12,687, the lowest level in seven years. 

The government is now focusing on its Plan For Jobs to ensure the UK builds back better from coronavirus. The Prime Minister’s plan will give people the skills that they need for a successful career, showing that work is the best way out of poverty with a high skill, high wage economy. 

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, addresses Parliament.

Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, said: “By implementing the Furlough Scheme, this government has helped protect over 52,000 jobs across Milton Keynes. Undoubtedly, this has given individuals, families and businesses the security of a regular wage as we have battled the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Now, with Milton Keynes’ economy starting to bounce back, I welcome the Prime Minister’s plan to build back better. This will ensure that MK’s future is prosperous and that constituents will benefit as this government continues in its levelling up agenda.” 

Ben Everitt, MP for Milton Keynes North, added: “The Furlough Scheme has been a lifeline for so many people and businesses across the country over the last year and a half and it is just incredible to see it protected 52,500 jobs right here in Milton Keynes. 

“As we heard in the Prime Minister’s speech, now we must build back better and we are determined to do that by levelling up skills, wages and opportunity. Milton Keynes can be at the heart of the UK’s recovery from coronavirus with our strong business community and hard-working, innovative population.” 

Alex Walker, leader of the Conservative group on Milton Keynes Council, said: “The furlough scheme has been a crucial anchor for businesses and employees across the country throughout the pandemic. It has helped to protect jobs, boost business and keep our economy going through tough times. 

“The government said they would do whatever it takes to safeguard jobs and they have succeeded in Milton Keynes and the country.” 

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