London Mayor Sadiq Khan demanded Boris Johnson extend the furlough scheme for at least another year. While speaking to James O’Brien on LBC, Mr Khan argued the UK should follow in the footsteps of Germany and France with their decisions regarding furlough. Following his remarks, Mr Khan has faced a furious backlash with many questioning how he is helping.
Mr Khan said: “23 percent of the businesses that we’ve spoken to, particularly in accommodation, food and culture sectors, are moderately or severely worried about becoming insolvent over the short-to-medium term.
“Bear in mind that in London, we have 1.39 million Londoners who are currently furloughed, the problem is this.
“At the moment, employers are having to pay National Insurance and pension contribution.
“From 1st September, they will be required to pay 10 percent of salary. From 1st October, 20 percent of salary. From November, all of it.
“They have not got the money to do so. The worst-case scenario is those 1.39 million Londoners on furlough could be transitioned to be made redundant or unemployed.
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“Germany and France have extended their equivalent of the furlough schemes. France until the end of 2021, Germany until 2022. Belgium until the end of 2020.
“My concern is that if the Government lift their support prematurely, they will end up paying the bill for insolvency and unemployment benefits.”
Despite Mr Khan’s pleas, many took to Twitter to mock the Mayor and criticise his demands.
One Twitter user wrote: “Furlough is what is making the economy tank the most.
“Or how about transferring some staff to struggling local borough’s to help out on the frontline?”
While another added: “So he asks for help for business rates in London.
“Why did James not ask why he has not suspended the congestion charge?
“This would help in terms of people going into the capital.”