Furlough must continue until the coronavirus pandemic ENDS, demands Bank of England boss

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BRITAIN’s wage support schemes must continue until the Covid crisis is over, a Bank of England chief has said.

Andy Haldane said unemployment would have hit 5 million without the wage bailout programmes.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has already extended furlough until the end of April[/caption]

Getty – Contributor

The Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane has called on wage support schemes to continue until the end of the pandemic[/caption]

Rishi Sunak has already extended the furlough scheme, which sees the Government paying 80 per cent of furloughed workers’ wages, until the end of April.

A similar scheme for the self-employed currently only runs until the end of March.

But Mr Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist, said they must stay in place until Covid restrictions are gone.

He told the Guardian: “Instead of 2-3 million unemployed we would be talking about 4-5 million.

“Policy insurance has been crucial and will remain crucial during that bridging period as we hopefully squeeze the risk of the virus out of the system and reduce the risk of losing jobs and businesses.

“We need to provide that bridge, that insurance policy, for as long as the risk of either or both those things remains high.”

 


His intervention came as new figures revealed government borrowing surged to a record £31.6 billion last month – sending Britain’s debt mountain to an eye-watering £2.1 trillion.

It means the UK’s overall debt is now around 99.5 per cent of GDP – a level not seen since 1962.

Borrowing has hit £240.9 billion for the first eight months of the financial year – £188.6 billion more year on year and breaking yet more records, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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