GMB Union has welcomed the extension of furlough, but has nonetheless cautioned that “more must be done” to drive a post-Covid economy.
Ahead of the budget announcement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed that furlough will be extended until September 2021.
Warren Kenny, acting general secretary, GMB stated that protecting jobs must be the “first step” to protecting incomes and ensuring the country can get back on its feet.
He suggested that any extension to furlough is “welcome”, but claimed that “as always” with the budget the “proof will be in the pudding”.
Kenny said: “Talk of ‘fiscal fire power’ and ‘continuing to do whatever it takes’ will ring hollow to millions of workers who know that Statutory Sick Pay isn’t enough to live – or self-isolate – on, and to public sector workers if another pay freeze is on the agenda.
“There’s a very clear choice about how we recover from the pandemic: investment in public works, public services and working people, or more of the same austerity that has left local government and social care crippled. The Chancellor is talking about honesty, let’s start with that.”