Rishi Sunakhas announced the government’s new plan to protect jobs as the UK suffers a second surge in COVID-19 cases.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday (24 September), The Chancellor informed his fellow MPs about a winter economy plan – designed to keep the country afloat whilst preventing mass unemployment.
The new package, created to help Britain through a “permanent adjustment”, will replace furlough and top up wages for employees.
According to Sunak, the Job Support Scheme will directly support the wages of people in work, giving businesses the option of keeping employees in a job on shorter hours rather than making them redundant.
Rules state that employees must work at least a third of their usual hours and be paid for that work by their employer.
The government will increase those people’s wages covering two-thirds of pay they’ve lost by reducing their working hours. The employee will keep their job.
All small and medium-sized businesses are eligible, and the scheme will run for six months, starting in November.
Sunak stated: “I know people are anxious and afraid and exhausted… I share those feelings but there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic.
“We now know more about this virus. We have seen three consecutive months of growth [in the economy], and millions of people have moved off the furlough and back to work.
“Our task now is to move to the next stage of the economic plan; nurturing recovery and protecting jobs through the difficult winter months.”
The UK found itself riding the crest of a second wave of cases just as the government’s furlough scheme was set to end on October 31.
Sunak’s first job protection package – launched during the onset of the pandemic – had allowed businesses to claim back 80% of their employees’ wages during a period when the country plunged into a recession.
Millions of workers in the UK are still currently supported via furlough, and there had been great concern about the scheme’s impending conclusion.
Originally created to cover wages until the summer, the programme was extended by a further four months in May as the pandemic continued to wreak havoc on businesses.
Sunak had previously expressed reluctance to keep the programme running beyond autumn, but confirmed earlier this week that the government had plans to “continue protecting jobs“.
This week also saw the confirmed scrapping of the Autumn Budget – where the Chancellor ordinarily reveals the condition of, and plans for, the national economy.
Major spending decisions are now being placed on hold until 2021.
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.
Andy Burnham wants to help more girls get into football
Andy Burnham has urged schools to do more to encourage young girls to get into football.
The Greater Manchester Mayor was speaking to Sky News‘ Kay Burley on Thursday, 8 December as he discussed the importance of promoting more women in football and sport, in general.
Burnham said that himself, the FA and notable women’s football advocates like former keeper Karen Bardsley are “determined” to make sure the buzz following the Women’s Euros isn’t just a flash in the pan.
With the England men’s team currently trying to replicate the Lionesses‘ success as they prepare for the quarter-final of the 2022 World Cup, he went on to emphasise the lasting memories football can create on a global scale.
The Mayor went on to say that with the help of schools across the UK, they hope to “make sure that the success the Lionesses had in the summer becomes a permanent legacy”, imploring schools, the sporting community and the nation at large “not let those summer memories fade”.
Insisting that he already feels the heroics of Euro 2022 have already had an impact when it comes to inspiring more girls to get into football.
He said that the uptake among “women in football” since the tournament has been “amazing” but warned educators and parents not to “leave it to chance” and provide the support to make “real change”.