Chancellor announces extension to covid furlough scheme

PM Rishi Sunak,

The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages, the Chancellor announced today (December 17).

Chancellor Rishi Sunak also confirmed he would be extending the government-guaranteed Covid-19 business loan schemes until the end of March.

The changes come ahead of the Budget, which the Chancellor has confirmed will take place on 3 March 2021.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Our package of support for businesses and workers continues to be one of the most generous and effective in the world – helping our economy to recover and protecting livelihoods across the country.

“We know the premium businesses place on certainty, so it is right that we enable businesses to plan ahead regardless of the path the virus takes, which is why we’re providing certainty and clarity by extending this support, as well as implementing our Plan for Jobs.”

The Chancellor said he would review the employer contribution element of the CJRS in January, but decided to bring this forward to allow businesses to plan ahead for the remainder of the winter and the New Year.

The government will continue to pay 80% of the salary of employees for hours not worked until the end of April. Employers will only be required to pay wages, National Insurance Contributions (NICS) and pensions for hours worked; and NICS and pensions for hours not worked.

The eligibility criteria for the UK-wide scheme will remain unchanged.

Businesses will also be given until the end of March to access the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme. These had been due to close at the end of January.


  1. So what are we going to be faced with next year ?

    VAT at 25% ?

    Income tax starting at 30% ?

    The grants and hand-outs were all very well the first time round – as were the interest free loans but the Government cannot continue to provide free money to individuals and businesses and then continue to prevent them from working or re-opening their premises.

    It is rather ironic that a Conservative government is employing these principles that are more closely aligned to Communism.

  2. Tax the very richest 1percent who own 95 per cent of the wealth. And a amazon tax , making a level playing field with the high street companies

    • Really, according to the sunday times 1000 rich list, 120 million gets you on it. You can only pluck that goose a little, most will have their wealth tied up and untouchable or will just leave the country taking their abilities with them. The big money as always comes from taking a little bit from everyone. Though quite how that’ll fill the void i’ve no idea.
      Be better to change the tax laws preventing overseas investors buying uk businesses loading them with debt from the investors home country at massively inflated interest rates which means no profit is ever made. Stop supporting zombie companies and train people to do real jobs, stop paying people to have kids they can’t support, stop undermining the incentive to work hard and gain skills with a tax/ benefits system that distorts pay so much. Accept that the covid “debt” will likely never be repaid and is going to be a drag on living standards for a generation.

    • Old outdated Labour thinking comes to the fore! Perhaps an annual levie/tax on second home owners would be better to increase revenue locally and fairly.

  3. This government is damned if it does and damned if doesn’t Cos Labour would not spend billions of taxpayers money to help people and businesses out would they? Not much they wouldn’t

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