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More than 25,000 jobs furloughed in Barking and Dagenham constituencies, figures show

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 June 2020

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge and Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Picture: Parliament.

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge and Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Picture: Parliament.

Parliament

Barking and Dagenham’s constituencies have seen 25,600 jobs furloughed, figures show.

Barking has an estimated 17,400 workers on the coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) which provides grants to employers of up to 80 per cent of salary to a maximum £2,500 per employee.

Dagenham and Rainham has 13,000 employees on the scheme which is due to continue until the end of October.

This compares to 29,300 in nearby West Ham which has the highest number on furlough in the capital, according to the figures released by HMRC.

Jon Cruddas MP said: “The furlough scheme has been a lifeline for thousands of residents across Dagenham and Rainham, but the system has not been without its flaws – not least for those in the hospitality trade who rely on tronc payments and tips.

“As we ease out of lockdown and businesses start to reopen, we will see people making a staggered return to work. “Thankfully after much lobbying the government agreed to extend the furlough scheme till October which should give ample time for things to start looking normal again.

“However, there is still a concern that we could face a second spike of the virus, and if that happens obviously there will need to be discussions about further extensions to the scheme.”

Barking MP, Dame Margaret Hodge, said: “With over 17,000 families dependent upon the furlough scheme through this difficult period, the government must be very careful to not suddenly pull the rug from beneath anyone just as the economy gets moving again.

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“The government are only going to make matters worse if the plan to gradually wind-down the scheme comes too quickly, they need to constantly review their current plans as we simply do not know what the state of the economy will be over the coming months.”

A Treasury spokesperson said: “We have provided a generous and wide-ranging package of support for businesses.

“Our scheme has helped a million employers and protected 8.9million jobs.

“We have extended it until October – meaning it will have been open for eight months and will continue to support businesses as the economy reopens and people return to work.

“As well as furloughing staff, we’ve introduced a wide range of other targeted support measures for different sectors, including bounce back loans and tax deferrals, business rates holidays and more than £10billion of grants to businesses.”

The £17.5bn CJRS is based around HMRC’s pay as you earn (PAYE) system. For an employer to qualify they need to have created a PAYE scheme by March 19.

Almost all the country’s 650 MPs have 10,000 constituents furloughed.

From July 1, employers can bring employees back to work who were furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for their normal hours not worked.

HMRC’s analysis covers the start of the scheme until May 31.


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