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BBC Newsnight: What happens when furlough ends?

26/08/2020

France has extended its furlough scheme to 24 months and Germany is expected to follow suit. Should the UK follow its European neighbours and extend the scheme that’s kept over nine million people in work across the UK?

The government’s furlough scheme has kept over nine million people in work across the UK, and the cost of the scheme in total is expected to be £60bn. But it is scheduled to end in October and many fear it is masking many thousands of job losses.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has warned that without an extension, manufacturing jobs in particular will be hit, but Chancellor Rishi Sunak is currently opposed and says the UK must embrace change.

France has already extended its furlough scheme to 24 months and Germany is most likely to follow suit.

So does that put the UK at a disadvantage or could we steal a march on our European neighbours?

If the government doesn’t extend the job retention scheme, how can they prevent a looming jobs crises?

Business Editor Helen Thomas reports and Kirsty Wark is joined by general secretary of the TUC Frances O’Grady and economist Jonathan Portes.

Newsnight is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.

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