UPDATE 1-UK PM Johnson says furlough scheme keeps people in "suspended animation"
LONDON, Sept 2- Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesdreated to retain jobs duried to retain jobs during the coronavirus pandemic was now keeping people in “suspended animation”, and that the government instead wanted to get Britain back to work. Questioned in parliament by opposition parties over whether he would extend the furlough scheme beyond its…
LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson said
on Wednesdreated to retain jobs duried to retain jobs during the
coronavirus pandemic was now keeping people in “suspended
animation”, and that the government instead wanted to get
Britain back to work.
Questioned in parliament by opposition parties over whetherhe would extend the furlough scheme beyond its end-Octoberdeadline, Johnson said the programme “keeps them in suspendedanimation and prevents them from going to work. What we want todo is to get people back to work.”
He said the government had turned the tide of the COVID-19pandemic and made clear his priority was now addressing thedamage done to the economy by a virus that forced months ofalmost total shutdown.
Conscious too that many businesses in towns and cities havebeen hit by a lack of passing trade, he wants to convincesceptical workers and employers that it is safe to return totheir offices and places of work.
“It’s very important that we get people back into theworkplace in a COVID-secure way, and … that we do absolutelyeverything we can to give them confidence that it is a good ideato go back,” Johnson said.
“An ounce of confidence… is worth a tonne of taxpayers’money.”(Reporting by William James, writing by Elizabeth Piper;editing by Stephen Addison)
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