Chancellor Rishi Sunak will reveal his Budget next week (Picture: Reuters)
Rishi Sunak could extend the furlough scheme until at least July after the Prime Minister revealed his long-awaited roadmap out of lockdown, reports say.
The coronavirus support packages are due to end on April 30, but the Chancellor will push the deadline back at next week’s Budget, according to The Sun.
Boris Johnson indicated yesterday that the lifeline for workers and closed businesses would continue, saying: ‘We will not pull the rug out.’
‘For the duration of the pandemic the government will continue to do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods.’
It comes as the latest figures show 726,000 jobs have been lost since February 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.
Supporting the economy through the roadmap out of lockdown is expected to be the focus of the Budget on March 3, with senior sources saying the Government bailouts will continue into the summer.
‘Obviously Rishi will be making a big announcement about this next week,’ one source told The Sun.
‘But it is safe to say that Covid measures aren’t going to be turned off.’
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Several lockdown-sceptic Tory MPs have denounced the PM’s gradual easing of lockdown, with Steve Baker saying the ‘pace of change will be a hammer blow’ to industries such as aviation, hospitality and the arts.
And Sir Graham Brady, the influential chairman of the 1922 committee of Tories, argued the ‘massive lurch’ towards state power during lockdown ‘must be reversed and it must never happen again’.
‘We should recognise that these aren’t freedoms that belong to the state, they are freedoms we were lucky enough to be born with.
‘The Government has taken our freedoms away and they should be restored as quickly as can safely be done,’ he wrote in the Daily Telegraph.
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Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown
Boris Johnson has laid out his plans to lift Covid-19 restrictions in England, following weeks of lockdown which began on January 4.
The Prime Minister confirmed that the route back to normality will depend upon four tests for easing restrictions and will take into account the success of the vaccine rollout.
Boris Johnson unveils four-step plan out of lockdown
All schools in England to return from March 8
Outdoor sports to return next month as lockdown eases
Hairdressers, barbers and salons to stay shut until April 12 at the earliest
Families to reunite indoors from May as two households can mix
Pub beer gardens to open from April 12 and Scotch egg rule won’t return
Restaurants and drinking inside pubs to return from May
Work from home orders to continue until late June at earliest
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Tornado North Carolina. At least 3 dead, 10 injured in North Carolina tornado. tornado last night
At least 3 dead, 10 injured in North Carolina tornado. Tornado North Carolina A deadly tornado fueled by a major winter storm struck a coastal North Carolina community late Monday night and killed at least three people and injured 10 more. The tornado hit the Ocean Ridge Plantation area in Brunswick County, North Carolina, at about 11:50 p.m. Monday night, Brunswick County officials said. Several homes were destroyed and several others were "severely" damaged. Emergency management officials said they'd be sweeping through the area when the sun came up to search the destruction for any additional injuries or deaths. All told, there were four reports of tornadoes from severe weather spawned by major Winter Storm Uri. Storms also damaged homes and other structures and left at least four people injured Monday in Florida and Georgia. In Georgia, a tornado touched down in Damascus, a small community in the southwest corner of the state. Early County Fire Department Capt. Bobby Wimberly said initial reports from units that responded indicated one person was injured and several homes destroyed. “We don’t know the full details yet, they’re still on scene," Wimberly told weather.com in a phone call around 5:30 p.m. EST
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