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Local MP calls for extension and reform of furlough scheme

More than 6,500 people are claiming out of work benefits (credit: Jon Cruddas)

The MP for Dagenham and Rainham is calling for the national furlough scheme to be extended. 

New analysis by the Labour Party estimates 8,710 people were still furloughed in late January across Dagenham and Rainham. 

It also found a further 6,585 people are claiming out of work benefits in the constituency. 

Jon Cruddas said the Chancellor should immediately announce an extension to the furlough scheme to remove uncertainty for local businesses and workers. It is currently set to end in April.

“Rishi Sunak’s Plan for Jobs has been a disaster,” said Mr Cruddas. “Seven months after its launch, we’ve got record redundancies, soaring unemployment, and the worst economic crisis of any major economy.

“We need urgent action to secure, recover and create jobs to help 6,585 people claiming out of work benefits and 8,710 people still on furlough in Dagenham and Rainham.

“This must include a smarter furlough scheme, an overhaul of the failing Kickstart youth programme, and reform of the shambolic Green Homes Grant as part of wider action to ‘Build it in Britain’ and support the creation of 400,000 new jobs.”

The Labour Party wants the scheme to be reformed and provide furloughed workers with new training to improve their skills. It also wants tougher conditions imposed on employers to stop abuse. 

According to the new research, 8,100 people in Dagenham and Rainham made claims under the Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme by the end of July 2020.

The Opposition has called for the scheme to be opened to 200,000 people who only have a 2019/20 tax return and for the Chancellor to fix the holes in the support schemes. 

“People can’t afford to wait for the Chancellor to get his act together,” added Mr Cruddas. “They need emergency action today, not more dither and delay until the Budget.”

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