| 12.3°C Belfast

Close

Premium


On half-year anniversary of furlough scheme, it's time to consider a viable alternative

Paul MacFlynn


Economy watch

Close

It is highly likely that the current phase of the of the pandemic is going to be with us for some time

It is highly likely that the current phase of the of the pandemic is going to be with us for some time

AFP via Getty Images

It is highly likely that the current phase of the of the pandemic is going to be with us for some time

Today marks an important anniversary in the economic management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, or ‘furlough scheme’ as it is more affectionately known, has been officially paying the wages of almost one third of Northern Ireland Workforce for exactly 6 months. Anniversaries are usually time for reflection and pause, and this holds true for economic anniversaries as well.

The furlough scheme is due to end on the 31st of October and there have been many calls for it to be extended. The furlough scheme in the Republic of Ireland is being extended until next March at the earliest. It is absolutely necessary for support to workers to continue beyond the end of October. However, it does not naturally follow that continuing the furlough scheme is the best way to do that for all workers.