Welcoming the Chancellor’s statement to the House of Commons announcing an extension of the Furlough scheme and the introduction of part-time working, Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Reform Researcher, said:
“I warmly welcome this move which will help prevent a wave of redundancies and aid our economic recovery.
“Crucially, the Chancellor’s plan to introduce part-time working will give employers the flexibility to reintroduce furloughed staff gradually, following the tempo of the economic recovery.
“However, while the Chancellor is right to err on the side of caution, he must minimise the risk of wasting taxpayers’ money. Extending the scheme must be accompanied by an urgent review of the eligibility criteria to ensure only companies that have taken a serious financial hit receive support. To that end, Government should now ask employers to prove their financial hardship, as they do in other countries. HMRC must also ramp up efforts to deter any abuse of the scheme, with serious sanctions for would-be fraudsters.”