Furlough: The UK cities that will struggle most when government support scheme ends
Rishi Sunak: There are no plans to extend furlough
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That’s according to latest research from the Joseph Roundtree Foundation (JRF), which found that the furlough scheme has been a lifeline for the 1.3million employers and 11.6million employees it’s helped over the last 18 months. However, the next few weeks will be an unnerving time for the country as employers work out if they can afford to take all their staff members back.
And at the same time that furlough is due to come to an end, it’s also looking unlikely that chancellor Rishi Sunak will budge on his plans to end the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit from October.
It will be a double whammy for many people who have been reliant on the government payouts to help support their families.
An ITV report has found that some families will be harder hit than others – depending on where you live in the country.
Now it’s airport towns like Luton and Slough that will feel the brunt, as well as cities like London and Manchester.
It’s a different story to that of six months ago when the foundation’s research found that it was seaside towns that were suffering the most.
This time as well as the airport towns, 10 London boroughs also make the list.
The foundation names 17 UK towns and cities that will be hit the hardest when furlough ends and cuts to Universal Credit come into force, among them are Newham, Ealing and Southwark.
Seaside towns such as Blackpool and Margate have fallen off the worst affected list because they have been able to draw tourists back over the summer.
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Despite many lockdown restrictions having been lifted in the UK, it’s the lack of tourism that has affected the airport towns.
But this has also had an effect on cities like London who rely on tourists but haven’t seen anywhere near usual numbers.
Lots of pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops haven’t reopened because the streets are empty compared to previous years and it means that many hospitality employees who live on the outskirts are still at home on furlough.
Many will be worried that their employers will have to cut jobs when the support scheme ends.
“Universal Credit has been a lifeline that has helped keep millions of heads above water,” Katie Schmuecker, Deputy Director of Policy and Partnerships for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said.
“The new analysis should act as a stark warning of the immense, immediate and avoidable consequences of what amounts to the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the Second World War.
“We all accept governing is about priorities but cutting the incomes of millions of the poorest families and sucking money out of the places in which they live, flies in the face of the Government’s mission to level up our country.
“This is not about generosity, it’s a matter of investing in families so they have the dignity of being able to meet their needs and supporting everyone in and out of work to escape poverty.”
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The 17 places in the UK that remain vulnerable to the withdrawal of furlough and cuts to Universal Credit:
Barking and Dagenham
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