‘It can’t last forever’: UK to unveil changes to furloughing scheme

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Secretary of State of Health Matt Hancock leaves Downing Street, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will on Tuesday announce changes to programme that is paying the wages of more than 6 million workers at businesses affected by the coronavirus, its health minister said.

Britain’s finance minister, Rishi Sunak, will make a statement on the government’s economic package at 1130 GMT. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that Sunak would speak about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which pays employers 80% of the wages of staff who are on temporary leave.

“Obviously it can’t last for ever and we are going to have to make changes. He’s going to announce the details of that,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock told LBC radio.

When asked if Sunak would cut the payments to 60% of earnings, Hancock said: “I’m not going to steal the words from Rishi’s mouth.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden

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