Chancellor Rishi Sunak could be considering a further furlough extension in the upcoming budget, the Telegraph reports.

According to sources, an extension of the £60bn scheme – which at present will run until April – is an “option under consideration” as one of a list of support measures to be announced on 3 March.

Earlier this week, the CBI called for a £6bn extension to furlough until the end of June as part of a £17.9bn recovery package in its budget submission – including extensions and deferrals of VAT bills and business rates.

Speaking at MCA’s digital event, The Conversation, earlier this week, UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said the Government seemed to be taking a “very tough line” on furlough, refusing extensions, NI and pension funding or any flexibility going forward.

Despite this, she added that the industry shouldn’t “accept anything,” and the trade body has also continued to lobby for an extension of the CJRS, allowing for flexible furlough, until the end of June.

Commenting on the 3 March budget, the Treasury said: “The Government will set out how we’ll ensure public services continue to receive the investment they need. We’ll also outline the next stages of our plan for jobs to support businesses and families across the UK. That has been our priority throughout the past year and it will be the priority for the year to come.”

Other means of support being considered are said to include the revival of the £1000 job retention bonus to encourage firms to keep staff on.

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