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Reduced Covid furlough scheme is an insult, say northern leaders

MPs and mayors say measures not enough as council leaders plead for local lockdown lifeline

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Northern leaders have described the government’s extension of the furlough scheme as “an insult” and a “kick in the teeth” that will not stave off the threat of economic disaster under new lockdown restrictions.

Firms whose premises are legally required to shut over winter as part of local or national restrictions will be entitled to grants to pay up to 67% of employees’ salaries up to £2,100 a month. This is less generous than the original furlough, which paid 80% of employees’ wages up to £2,500 a month, but is a higher level of taxpayer support than in Rishi Sunak’s winter economy plan announced two weeks ago.

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