Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to extend the government’s furlough scheme until the end of September in his Budget speech on Wednesday (3 March).
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed on Tuesday (2 March) that an extension to the furlough scheme would feature in the chancellor’s address.
Sunak will detail his fiscal plans for the coming year, and additional coronavirus support, in the Commons at lunchtime. He will also break with tradition and host a Budget press conference later on Wednesday.
The furlough scheme, introduced last April, pays 80% of employees’ wages for hours they aren’t able to work owing to the effects of the pandemic.
Many travel businesses, though, haven’t been able to fully utilise the scheme as staff have been required to carry out statutory tasks such as refunding and rebooking clients under package travel rules.
The extension is, however, expected to be tapered, with the support being wound down over the summer through to September as the economy and society reopens according to the government’s Covid roadmap.