It is less than two months since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live. This programme sees Government grants cover 80 per cent of people’s wages, up to £2,500 a month.
In this time, the scheme has protected some 20,000 jobs in Crawley, with the programme continuing as it has been throughout June and July, before employers are asked to make a modest contribution from August.
Of course, some sectors will not be up and running fully by then, and targeted and more flexible support will be required. As founder and Chair of the new Future of Aviation Group, I have been leading cross-party calls in Parliament for the furlough scheme to be extended for the aviation, tourism and travel sectors – of such importance to the Crawley and Gatwick economy – past the end of the programme in October.
It is welcome that we are seeing our economy start to reopen for business. From Monday 15th June, shops will be allowed to welcome customers back, providing they meet robust safety guidelines to keep everyone safe.
This move will help to not only support our high streets and restart our economy, but will do so at the same time as making sure we keep the risk of infection down to avoid the possibility of a second wave of the virus.
Henry Smith MP