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UK manufacturers set to sack tens of thousands workers

Christian Fernsby |
Manufacturers in the UK are on the verge of sacking tens of thousands of workers, according to a poll released on Friday.

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A poll by Make UK, which represents manufacturers in the UK, said that a quarter of companies are planning to cut jobs within the next six months, and that another 45% of manufacturers are considering terminating employees in general.

Less than a third, 30%, of manufacturers said they would not cut staff at all.

Stephen Phipson, the chief executive of Make UK, said: “There is no disguising the fact these figures make for awful reading with the impact on jobs and livelihoods across the UK.”

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically decreased demand for cars, machinery, and other heavy manufactured goods.

The news comes as local media report that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce rolling back his coronavirus job retention scheme in the coming days.

Currently, the government pays 80% of the salary of furloughed employees, up to £2,500 a month.

The scheme will run until October, but from the beginning of August business will pay 20% of their employees’ wages with the government reducing its share to paying 60%. 8.4 million workers have been furloughed on the scheme.

The Office for Budget Responsibility, an independent body that reports on the public finances, forecast that the overall cost of the job retention scheme could reach £80 billion, pushing the overall cost of coronavirus in the UK to over £300 billion.

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