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48% of UK businesses call for the furlough scheme to be extended by at least six months to protect jobs

By ET Bureau - March 03, 2021 2 Mins Read

UK businesses call for the furlough scheme to be extended by at least six months to protect jobs

Almost a third (32%) believe Rishi Sunak will only protect certain sectors and ignore others entirely

48% of UK business owners have called for the furlough to be extended by at least six months, according to a poll of 500 UK businesses conducted by iResearch Services ahead of the budget announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The findings reveal that business owners do have faith in Rishi Sunak, with 42% of those believing he is committed to protecting businesses. However, 32% believe this commitment is limited to only certain sectors, and 7% believe this is only limited to large corporations.

Commenting on the findings, Gurpreet Purewal, Associate Vice President, Thought Leadership, at iResearch, said: “Budget day is a critical turning point for UK businesses, the economy and for millions of people’s livelihoods. The Chancellor must heed the call and ensure UK businesses are not forced to lay off jobs.”

In other findings, 54% said they believe an increase in Corporation Tax is fair, and 43% of UK businesses are optimistic about the policies the government has put in place to enable business growth post-Brexit. Whereas, 37% are pessimistic.

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Purewal added: “There is a clear divide in faith in the UK government from UK businesses right now. While some clearly believe Rishi Sunak is committed, others are sceptical about the sectors he intends to protect, and post-Brexit, there seems to be a lot of pessismism that firms will have the growth potential they seek.”

Asked whether they would need to streamline their businesses once the furlough scheme ends yielded the the following results:

  • Nearly a third (32%) will be investing in new technology and tools
  • Alarmingly, only 19% said they would be increasing headcount
  • Only 28% will move into new territories and markets
  • While 31% do plan to develop new products or services


ET Bureau

The platform covers e entire enterprise technology space- including emerging technologies like RPA, AI, cloud, automation, and the entire gamut of digital transformation tools, strategies and management decisions.

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