Rishi Sunak suggests furlough and self-employment support will be extended in Wednesday's Budget

Rishi Sunak has suggested furlough and self-employment support will be extended in Wednesday's Budget.

Rishi Sunak has suggested furlough and self-employment support will be extended in Wednesday's Budget.

The Chancellor indicated coronavirus support for firms and workers will be extended from April 30 until June by telling Sky News the support will be "aligned" with Boris Johnson's roadmap.

Under the Prime Minister’s roadmap, England's legal lockdown restrictions will only end on June 21 at the earliest.

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Asked if the furlough scheme supporting businesses during the pandemic would be extended, Mr Sunak suggested it was here to stay.

He said: "I think it’s right that the support aligns with the roadmap.

“I said at the beginning of this crisis that I would do whatever it took to protect people, families and businesses through this crisis and I remain completely committed to that, the PM in the road map set out a path for us to recover and reopen and I want to support people and businesses along that path.

“I’m not going to comment on specific policies but I want to make sure people realise that we are going to be there to support them and if you look at our track record we went big, we went early and there’s more to come next week.”

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The Chancellor also appeared to suggest he understood the arguments for keeping the Universal Credit uplift.

Asked if the £20 per week uplift would be removed, he said: “Budget on Wednesday, there’s a place where we’ll set out all of our next stages of our response, but I know that that uplift has made a difference to people over the past 12 months.

“It’s one part of a comprehensive plan that we’ve put in place to protect people, particularly those on low incomes, and looking forward we can point to the fact that we’re increasing the national living wage next year by above inflation, which will mean almost a £350 pay rise for someone working full time on the national living wage.”

It has been reported the boost will be extended for six months to October, going in the face of requests from charities who insist it must be made permanent.

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