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Economy Minister welcomes extension of the Job Support Scheme

Economy Minister Diane Dodds has said that whilst we await the detail of today’s announcement, it is nevertheless welcome.

The Job Support Scheme will be expanded to support businesses who are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions due to coronavirus.

The UK government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

Minister Dodds said: “Whilst we need to see the detail of this new scheme, it is nevertheless a welcome announcement.

“It would have been reckless to end the furlough scheme without putting any UK-wide support in its place and would have been disastrous for the Northern Ireland economy. I will need to look very closely at the detail of this announcement to see if it goes far enough.

“I have been consistent in warning that any further restrictions would have an impact on the local economy. If we are to have further restrictions, then businesses and workers must be supported by UK government schemes to ensure our economy is protected.”

Businesses will only be eligible for the new HM Treasury Job Support Scheme if they are subject to restrictions and employees will need to be furloughed for a minimum of seven consecutive days.

Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover employer national insurance and pension contributions.

The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January.

The HM Treasury website has more information on the scheme https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/925672/20201009_JSSC_Factsheet_FINAL_EG_1516_002_.pdf