NEWS DIGEST 13.05.2020: UK furlough scheme is extended



This morning’s news digest is from Google News. The Daily Mail warns Britons that they will see tax rises and pay freezes as the national economy recovers from the coronavirus, according to leaked Treasury documentation. One in three British firms may never re-open, and those employers whose staff are on furlough will have to start paying them more despite them not working. The leaked papers also state that the virus could cost the country £300 billion with the government being forced to cut spending and borrow heavier – Britons face pay freezes and tax rises to cover £300bn bill for coronavirus, leaked Treasury plans reveal as it emerges that one in three firms may NEVER reopen and employers could have to pay staff to do nothing under Rishi Sunak’s furlough extension (Mail Online)

focused man working on desktop computer in office
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on


The BBC announced that the national furlough scheme which pays up to eighty per cent of stalled employees wages will be extended until October this year. Companies however will be asked to contribute a greater share of the wage bill from August. As of now, the scheme is paying out for a quarter of the UK’s workforce, around seven million people – UK furlough scheme extended by four months (BBC News)

The Telegraph warns that the creator of the furlough scheme, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will be facing tough choices in the months ahead. The UK government is keen to get the economy up and running again, as unemployment rises due to the virus – Rishi Sunak faces some unpleasant choices in the months ahead (The Telegraph) Meanwhile The Independent jokingly refers to Sunak as the Tory Neo from The Matrix films, as the bullets have struck everyone except him – Rishi Sunak is the Tory version of Neo from The Matrix. The bullets have hit everyone but him (Independent)

Lockdown restrictions in the UK are being slightly eased as of today with people being allowed to have more exercise outside their homes, reported the Evening Standard. People can also now view properties for sale, but are still unable to visit friends and family. As the government aims to fire up the stagnant housing market, estate agents and property developers will be allowed to open for business. The Government estimates more than 450,000 buyers and renters have been unable to progress their plans to move house since lockdown measures were introduced in March, the newspaper said – People in England allowed to spend more time outdoors from today as coronavirus lockdown measures eased (Evening Standard)

Holiday providers have been slammed by The Sun for ‘bullying’ customers into paying thousands of pounds for holidays they can no longer take due to the pandemic, with many being denied refunds, and the summer holiday season very much dead in the water. Would-be holidaymakers are losing deposits and being made to pay hefty cancellation fees, according to a report originally published by the Daily Mail paper – SUN, SAND AND SWINDLED Holiday firms slammed for ‘bullying’ customers into paying thousands for trips they may never go on due to lockdown (The Sun)In the background, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has formally announced that the summer travel season is likely to be cancelled for the first time since the end of the Second World War, BBC News reports. Social distancing rules, quarantine regulations for returning Britons and a hospitality industry battered by the virus shutdown will make international holidays especially almost impossible this year, the minister said Foreign holiday season likely to be cancelled, says minister (BBC News)

In other news from the UK, a mother and her child have been killed after a quad bike crash in Northern Ireland, the Daily Mirror reported. According to the local Belfast Telegraph, Claire Smyth was travelling with two of her daughters in Ballycastle, County Antrim when their vehicle collided with a tractor. Smyth and one of her daughters died while the second child is injured and was airlifted to Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in a critical condition – Young child and mum killed in quad bike crash as second daughter fights for life (Mirror)

Lastly, UK royal family member Sarah Ferguson has apparently got fans of the family in a tizz after unveiling a new hairdo as she is under lockdown with the rest of her country, reports the Daily Express. While resting at her home in Windsor, Berkshire, the royal has been experimenting with different hairstyles, with her latest look of a ‘volume-heavy half-up do, complete with a pink floral headband’ being featured in a posted photo on her Instagram account, the newspaper gushes. Most of Ferguson’s series of hair designs have been on a floral theme, which makes sense with it being spring in the UK – Royal fans in shock as Sarah Ferguson shows off surprising new lockdown look (Express)



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