Sunak faces last-minute call to extend leave amid warnings London workers will be hit hardest

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chancellor Rishi Altar facing eleventh hour demands to extend permission For certain sectors of the economy, after the Institute for Financial Studies (IFS) warned that workers in London will be hit hardest when the plan expires today.

The flagship economic policy put in place at the start of the pandemic has supported millions of jobs during the pandemic, initially paying 80 percent of workers’ wages up to the £2,500 monthly limit.

But closing the program on Thursday resulted in a “tidal wave” of job losses and the country’s “coronavirus Black Thursday”.

Announcing in the Budget in March that the plan would expire in the fall after ending in the summer, Mr. Sunak had previously rejected requests for state intervention to be extended beyond September 30.

According to IFS, workers in London are in the “most precarious position” as they take more leave over the summer than any other part of the country.

Combined with higher layoff rates and lower reemployment rates, the financial watchdog said: “These challenges combine to increase the risk of longer-term unemployment in the capital.”

IFS, which published a new study today, said workers in the capital accounted for 16 percent of layoffs during the pandemic, with 44 percent of those who lost their jobs finding new jobs within six months. the rest of the country.

Adam Salisbury, author of the report, said of the capital: “This is the highest-paid region and had employment growth between 2007 and 2019 that was much higher than the national average.

“But despite the leave schedule being maintained, the pandemic has hit London hard. London has had higher-than-average leave rates, higher layoffs and a lower chance of finding new employment after layoffs this summer.

NS Liberal Democrats In a letter to Mr. Sunak, they demanded that the program, introduced in March 2020, be extended to the 10 sectors most affected by the disruption caused by Covid-19, including passenger air transport, travel agencies, musical instrument manufacturers and retail sales via stands. . and markets.

The party argued that removing support now would be “devastating for countless families who still face rising bills and cuts to work allowances”.

Christine Jardine, the party’s Treasury spokesperson, said: “The withdrawal of permit risks has had a devastating effect on countless families who are already facing soaring energy bills. The government needs to rethink its approach or the country could face a Black Thursday coronavirus.”

“Liberal Democrats are demanding an extension of leave for industries most affected by the pandemic to prevent a massive wave of job losses in the coming weeks,” he added.

“Thousands of people are worried about their livelihoods at a time when the impact of the pandemic is not over yet. Supporting them and their families is both right and responsible.”

The warning also comes as an analysis of government data from homelessness charity Crisis. universal credit Ministers are at risk of eviction as they prepare to lift the £20-a-week increase, another key economic support measure introduced at the start of the pandemic.

Jon Sparkes, CEO of Shelter, said: “For many struggling tenants, this cut could be the final blow, forcing them out of their homes.

“We know that when people have a stable place to live, they are in a better position to find jobs, build their careers and contribute to the economy when it reopens. Eliminating this vital lifeline risks undermining all this.

“If we’re really serious about raising the country’s level and rebuilding our economy to work for everyone, then the UK government needs to change course and maintain the £20 raise so that people don’t lose their homes unnecessarily this winter, and we have a war. chance of recovery.”

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