Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils ‘job retention bonus’

Rishi Sunak

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a plan to keep furloughed workers in their jobs when the scheme ends in October.

If employers keep workers in their jobs until January 2021 they will get a £1,000 bonus per employee.

The scheme could cost as much as £9bn if every furloughed worker is covered, the chancellor told MPs.

It is part of a package to prevent mass unemployment as the coronavirus crisis hits the economy.

He said leaving the furlough scheme open would give people “false hope” that they will have a job to return to.

But he said he would “never accept unemployment as an inevitable outcome”.

The chancellor also announced a £2bn “kickstart scheme” to create more jobs for young people.

The fund will subsidise six-month work placements for people on Universal Credit aged between 16 and 24, who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Mr Sunak also announced a temporary stamp duty holiday to stimulate the property market.

This would exempt the first £500,000 of all property sales from the tax.

The chancellor outlined a number of other measures in the build-up to his statement, including:

Details of how the package will be paid for – through borrowing and possible tax rises – are likely to be unveiled in the chancellor’s Autumn Budget.

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