Coronavirus furlough scheme extended by Sunak but taxpayer support scaled back

The furlough scheme currently supporting 7.5 million workers through the coronavirus crisis will be extended until the end of October, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced as the UK death toll linked to Covid-19 passed 40,000.

The scheme – which pays 80% of a worker's salary up to a £2,500 monthly cap – will remain unchanged until the end of July and then continue with employers expected to start footing some of the multi-billion pound bill.

Mr Sunak told MPs that from August there will be greater flexibility in order to allow furloughed staff to begin returning to work.

"Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time," he said.

"And we we will ask employers to start sharing with the Government the cost of paying people's salaries."

Staff would continue to receive the current level of support through a combination of state and employer contributions.

Mr Sunak's announcement came as new analysis by the PA news agency puts the death toll at just over 40,000, following new figures on care home deaths released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This includes deaths from Covid-19 and where it has been mentioned on the death certificate as a factor.

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Pictures of the week: May 10 - 16
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Pictures of the week: May 10 - 16
Cyclists ride under a clear blue sky in Blyth, Northumberland, as highs of 22C are now expected for some parts of the UK by the weekend.
Young deer roam the Deer Park, near Ashford, Kent, during the spring weather and form part of a heard of around 100 fallow deer which were established in the 17th Century. Highs of 22C are now expected for some parts of the UK by the weekend.
The Spencer Lawn Tennis Club in Wandsworth on the second day of the easing of some lockdown restrictions in England as the UK continues in the eighth week to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Early morning sun catches the leaves of a Japanese Maple tree in North Wales, as highs of 22C are now expected for some parts of the UK by the weekend.
Amanda Holden seen leaving the Global Radio Studios in London. (Photo by Brett Cove / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
British swimmer Adam Peaty trains at his house in Loughborough in pool provided by Jacuzzi in partnership with Bedfordshire Hot Tubs to allow our GB Olympic Swimmers to continue to train at home for Tokyo 2021 during the current UK lockdown.
Neals Nurseries in Wandsworth reopens on the first day of the easing of some lockdown restrictions in England as the UK continues in the eighth week to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Golfers, wearing protective masks, push their trollies at Rookwood Golf Club, Horsham, Sussex, after golfers return to play as restrictions are lifted in England, as the UK continues in lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus during the pandemic.
The Spencer Lawn Tennis Club in Wandsworth reopens on the first day of the easing of some lockdown restrictions in England as the UK continues in the eighth week to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
British swimmer Luke Greenbank trains at pool in Ed Baxter's home in Loughborough watched by coach Mel Marshall. The pool was provided by Jacuzzi in partnership with Bedfordshire Hot Tubs to allow GB Olympic Swimmers to continue to train at home for Tokyo 2021 during the current UK lockdown.
Seven police officers attend an incident on the Old Shoreham Road as the UK continues in lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus during the pandemic.
A family stop to buy an ice cream from an ice-cream van at Hove Park, near Brighton, as the UK continues in lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus during the pandemic.
A general view of people sitting in Hove Park, near Brighton, as the UK continues in lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus during the pandemic.
ScotRail staff at Edinburgh's Haymarket Station have decorated a window in tribute to the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A near empty concourse at Waterloo station with a message of support for the NHS during what would normally be the evening rush hour, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Signs for McDonald's and The NHS on display at Wandsworth roundabout as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A man walks across empty passenger lanes at The Port of Dover in Kent as passengers arriving from France will be exempt from forthcoming UK coronavirus quarantine measures while the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A cyclist passes a mural featuring a skeleton on a bicycle in Edinburgh as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A Morrisons supermarket sign selling unleaded petrol at 99.7p per litre at its store in Belle Vale, Liverpool, after the chain reduced its prices across its UK forecourts.
Sunset over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A British Transport Police officer wears a face mask on the London Underground Central line during what would normally be the evening rush hour, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People make use of a new widened pavement to aid social distancing on Camden High Street in London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A woman walks between a coronavirus information sign and a light installation near London Bridge, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People walk through Broadway Market in London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Uncollected recycling around bins in Harringay, north London. Picture date: Sunday May 10, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
An overgrown cemetery in Earlsfield during the UK lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
People take their exercise on Wandsworth Common as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A view of the empty beach at Camber Sands in East Sussex as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A bee taking pollen from alliums in a South London garden as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A man exercising on London Fields, in London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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