The furlough scheme is being wound down. This disastrous approach risks handing P45s to hundreds of thousands
Coronavirus has proved how much our fates are bound up with each other. It has also been a test of us – and government. How much do we – and it – recognise our sense of mutual dependence and obligation? Unprecedented steps such as the furlough, despite its significant injustice in the numbers excluded, have been a welcome expression of that.
Yet the government has chosen to move away from that approach, as every firm in the UK must now contribute to the costs of their employees’ furlough, a precursor to the end of the scheme in October. That rule applies to businesses whatever their sector or circumstance, including casinos and bowling alleys, which had been preparing to reopen their doors this Saturday but were told on Friday they’d have to delay. The unpredictable nature of this virus means that public health measures must be flexible, yet the government is illogically sticking to a rigid economic approach.