Labour leader Keir Starmer is expected to call for a flexible alternative to the government’s Jobs Retention Scheme to “avoid mass unemployment,” according to the Financial Times.

The FT reports that Starmer will tell the annual TUC Congress today (15 September) that the government must replace the furlough scheme with a sector and location-specific system, to support industries continuing to suffer because of the crisis and those areas affected by local lockdowns.

With the existing scheme set to come to an end on 31 October, he is expected to warn of the “scarring effect mass unemployment will have on communities and families across the country” if an alternative method of support isn’t provided.

Meanwhile, the British Chambers of Commerce has urged the Prime Minister to produce a new package of business support to avoid “significant levels” of business failures.

The letter from group president Ruby Mcgregor-Smith called on the government to provide support for businesses suffering because of local restrictions, alongside a comprehensive business package including a reduction on national insurance costs.