Almost a third of South Tyneside jobs placed on furlough, new figures reveal

Nearly 20,000 jobs in South Tyneside have been covered by the Government furlough scheme to combat the coronavirus crisis, new figures show.
Chancellor Rishi SunakChancellor Rishi Sunak
Chancellor Rishi Sunak

Figures from HM Revenue and Customs show around 19,300 claims to furlough jobs were made in the borough by the end of June – and trade union leaders are calling for more support for businesses to "stem the tide of redundancies” when the scheme ends in October.

The figures mean 31% of jobs in South Tyneside have been furloughed - the job retention scheme, launched by Chancellor Rishi Sunak which sees the Government pays 80% of employees’ wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

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The North East figure was 30%, while the national rate was 31%.

The figures show 9.4 million employments nationally had been placed on furlough by the end of June – at a cost to the Treasury of £26.5billion.

The scheme will be scaled back in August, when firms start making contributions to the costs, and will close in October.

The TUC warns it "falls short" of what is needed to prevent job losses.

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General secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Mass unemployment is the biggest threat facing the UK. Struggling businesses need more than a one-off job retention bonus to survive in the long run.

“The more people we have in decent work, the faster we can move out of recession."

The Institute of Directors, representing business leaders in the UK, said broader measures are needed to help companies which have "fallen through the gaps" of support throughout the pandemic.

A report from the Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK's spending watchdog, predicts that 1.3 million furloughed workers may lose their jobs once the scheme ends.

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Different figures show around 3,500 people in South Tyneside had applied to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme by the end of June – a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits, limited to £7,500.

Claims made by people in South Tyneside amounted to £8.9m, or £2,500 per person on average – with 77% of those thought to be eligible in the area having asked for support.