Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has called for the Furlough (Job Retention) Scheme to be extended beyond October 31st to protect jobs and livelihoods.
The party’s economy spokesperson said:
“Today the economy committee agreed to my proposal to write to the British Chancellor and urge him to extend the furlough scheme, and similarly extend and widen the self-employed income support scheme to include those missed out.
“The Committee also agreed to write to Finance and Economy Ministers proposing that the Executive funds a grants scheme for the newly self-employed which could be delivered by the HMRC.
“The Furlough (Job Retention) Scheme has been a lifeline to many businesses, with tens of thousands of workers here placed on furlough during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The ending of the furlough scheme on 31st October will come as a devastating blow to many businesses some of whom have as yet been unable to reopen fully or at all.
“On Monday, the Assembly unanimously supported a call on the British government to extend the furlough scheme.
“If the scheme closes as proposed it would without doubt result in wide scale redundancies, and impact particularly in vulnerable economic sectors and constituencies.
“I have also been contacted by many businesses and entrepreneurs who have so far missed out on financial support, this includes those newly self-employed in the past year and are therefore ineligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.
“The lack of support for this group is now putting the very survival of businesses and jobs at risk, as well as being detrimental for the income of many working families.”