‘Next month 22% of my constituents could lose their jobs’ – Rachael Maskell challenges Prime Minster over furlough scheme

Rachael Maskell challenging Prime Minister Boris Johnson at PMQs on Wednesday. Photograph: Screengrab
16 Sep 2020 @ 1.39 pm
| Politics

York MP Rachael Maskell today urged the Prime Minister to extend the furlough scheme – saying if he didn’t thousands of residents could ‘lose their futures’.

The Labour MP tackled Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons this lunchtime (Wednesday).

She said: “The Prime Minster holds the power to save jobs or sacrifice the livelihoods of my constituents.

“Currently 17,700 people living in my constituency of York Central are furloughed. Their future rests in his hands.

“Next month 22% of my constituents could lose their jobs and lose their futures unless furlough is extended.”

She said the furlough scheme should be reformed and continue in a more targeted way. “Extend and review is the only way forward. My question, Mr Speaker, is will the Prime Minister do this?”

Boris Johnson began by saying he hoped Ms Maskell didn’t simply want to extend the furlough scheme “because I don’t believe that is the right way, and I see the front bench shaking their heads”.

He said: “We need to get people off furlough, into work. And that is what this government is doing. That’s why we’ve got the £2 billion kickstart fund in particular to help young people into work.

“That’s why we have the job retention bonus, to encourage employers to take people back on to continue to employ people.

“And to answer her point directly, we will continue to apply the maximum creativity, as we have, in putting our arms around the workforce of the UK.”