Rishi Sunak has warned that Britain faces a winter of rising unemployment as he said a new multibillion-pound spending package to boost an economy battered by Covid-19 would not be enough to prevent business failures and job losses over the coming months.
The chancellor said his winter jobs plan – a combination of wage top-ups, cash flow support for companies and an extended VAT cut for the hardest-hit sectors – was needed after tougher curbs to tackle the pandemic were announced earlier this week.
Sunak said the protracted battle against the virus meant the economy was undergoing a permanent adjustment but that it was “fundamentally wrong” to keep people in jobs that only existed due to the furlough introduced six months ago.
“We need to create new opportunities and allow the economy to move forward and that means supporting people to be in viable jobs which provide genuine security. As