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Recommendations shared for easing of lockdown

18 February 2021

Furlough payments should be reduced gradually to allow more people to remain in employment, the Resolution Foundation has recommended.

Its recommendations follow reports that unemployment numbers are expected to increase when the furlough scheme comes to an end.

The foundation has said that Chancellor Rishi Sunak should use the Budget, which is due in March, to inform the nation of the gradual reduction of the scheme.

According to BBC News, the Treasury has confirmed that details of plans to support workers will be included in next month's statement.

Resolution Foundation senior economist Nye Cominetti said: "While the UK's economic prospects are finally looking up, job insecurity remains high, particularly among those who have spent long periods not working, or who are currently furloughed."

The foundation has stated that the January figures showed nearly 2m people had been unemployed for at least six months, with many moving from furlough to unemployment and back, with 700,000 people  registered as officially unemployed.

From those currently in work, 8% have either been told they will be made redundant or expect to lose their jobs within the next three months, said the foundation.

The furlough scheme is currently due to end in April and the government has stated it has spent £280bn in supportive measures since the first lockdown in March 2020.

According to the BBC a Treasury spokesperson said: "We will continue to invest in protecting and creating jobs through the remainder of the pandemic and through the recovery, and we will set out further details via the next stage of our plan for jobs at the upcoming Budget."

The foundation's recommendations are further supported by reports from the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Citi Research, both of which have warned of rising unemployment and the effects this will have on individuals and communities.

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