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Stroud Labour Party are calling on MP Siobhan Baillie to lobby the government to extend the furlough scheme beyond the end of October.

Stroud’s economy has already been badly hit by the virus; the number of universal credit claimants has nearly doubled.

In June and July, the number of jobs posted compared to the year before was down by 40%, in August it was down by 22%, at the start of the year these figures were rising compared to the year before. Clearly the area is facing a huge employment crisis already.

The Jobs Retention Scheme (JRS), also known as ‘furlough’, is due to finish at midnight on October 31, prompting fears of rising mass unemployment whilst also making it more difficult to control the virus.

Stroud CLP chair Steve Lydon said: “This would put manufacturing jobs, skills and the local economy in danger. Instead of scrapping the scheme, we are asking our MP to lobby the Prime Minister to introduce targeted support for working people through sector support schemes.

“The JRS was a historic investment of taxpayers’ money to avert widespread job losses. This massive, unprecedented investment will go to waste unless the government acts now to hold the country from the unemployment cliff edge looming on the near horizon. Our workers and communities need our MP’s help.”

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