Said the Foyle MLA: “The SDLP has called for a replacement of the furlough scheme when it ends next month, so we are pleased the Job Support Scheme has now been agreed.
“However, we have serious doubts about its scope and effectiveness. For many employers it will not be enough to enable them to keep all staff in work.
“We can now expect a serious increase in registered unemployment when the furlough scheme runs out.
“We would also have liked the government to admit that existing support arrangements were too restrictive, especially for the self-employed.
“Far too many self-employed individuals were left outside of support arrangements, for example because of the rules around the length of time they had previously been trading.
“At Westminster and the Assembly, the SDLP will continue to push for support schemes that protect workers and businesses in the trying months ahead.”