Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride, who chairs the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, has welcomed an extension to the business furlough scheme that is supporting businesses in Devon and across the country through the coronavirus pandemic. Announced today, the Government will continue to pay 80% of the wages of furloughed employees (up to £2,500) until the end of July at which point employers will start to be asked to contribute. But he also expressed concerns that a minority of people are still ineligible for support, such as small business owners who pay themselves a relatively small salary but also receive dividends from company profits. 

    Mr Stride said: 

    "The extension of the furlough scheme, allowing furloughed employees to work part time, and with employers asked to contribute are all welcome steps from the Chancellor. The devil though will be in the detail, which will be set out later this month when the Treasury Committee looks forward to carefully scrutinising these changes. The Chancellor also said that there will be no changes to the scheme until July. This will be worrying for those who continue to fall through the gaps of the Government's support measures such as the lack of furlough support to help cover dividend income generated through self-employment."

    To date the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost a million businesses. The announcement of its extension was immediately welcomed by the Trade Union Congress and the British Chamber of Commerce.