The Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour group at Burnley Borough Council are among more than 1,000 Labour councillors and mayors across the UK who have written to Boris Johnson urging him to rethink plans to end the furlough scheme.
The furlough scheme will end completely at the end of October, a decision criticised for being a blanket action across all industries and areas.
The Labour councillors are calling for a targeted financial support scheme, which they say will prevent “mass unemployment” when the job retention scheme comes to an end in October.
Cllr Mark Townsend, Leader of the Labour Group, said “The Government needs to consider a targeted approach for those industries worst hit by the pandemic. Areas under local lockdown will still need some form of financial support if people are forced to isolate. Telling workers to go home without ensuring that they have money to live off is just reckless and will result in hardship.”
Cllr Lian Pate, Deputy Leader of the Labour Group, said: “Our town is facing an unprecedented employment crisis and we are appealing to the Government to reconsider the blanket removal of the scheme. It not only puts jobs at risk, it puts families too. It creates undue pressure at a time when they are going to be concerned about a serious health issue within their home.”
The letter, sent to Boris Johnson last week, also outlines support for the ‘Alliance for Full Employment’. This campaign demands that the Government sets up a financial support system that targets industries worst hit by the pandemic, and ensures incomes for people who are forced to self-isolate.