What is a post furlough world?
While £200bn has poured into the economy to prevent an instant COVID-19 meltdown, Christian Doherty explores what the future holds for businesses as support measures wind down
To describe Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s first few months in the job as a baptism of fire is perhaps an understatement. Barely a month into his new role inside 11 Downing Street, Sunak was given the job of designing the biggest peacetime economic rescue plan the UK has ever seen while the COVID-19 pandemic tightened its grip around the world. “We will not be defined by this crisis,” Sunak asserted later in his Summer Statement, “but by our response to it.”
The plan quickly took shape in March: the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was aimed at staving off millions of job losses as the government guaranteed 80% of the salaries of eligible workers; the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) would deliver loans of up to £5m to struggling businesses; and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) offered a lifeline to 3.4 million out of the five million-strong self-employed workforce.