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Chancellor exploring how to ‘wind down’ Job Retention Scheme

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged to wind down the furlough scheme without there being a cliff edge.

Speaking on ITV News yesterday, Sunak said the scheme isn’t a sustainable solution, given that it likely costs as much as the NHS.

The Job Retention scheme supports 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,5000, but only runs until the end of June.

There are warnings that without the scheme in place there will be mass redundancies.

Sunak said: “To anyone who’s anxious about this I want to give them reassurance today that there will be no cliff edge to the furlough scheme.

“I am working as we speak to figure out the most effective way to wind down the scheme and ease people back into work in a measured way.

“But as some scenarios have suggested we are potentially spending as much on the furlough scheme as we do on the NHS for example. Now clearly that is not a sustainable situation.”

So far the scheme launched for small businesses, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, has issued 30,000 loans to the total of £5bn.