Economists call for extension of UK's furlough scheme to save businesses

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With scheme due to end on Saturday, Rishi Sunak is under pressure to extend protection measures

Economists have urged the chancellor to extend the furlough scheme and ramp up support for businesses and workers amid rising concern that rapidly growing infection rates from Covid-19 will force the government to impose a national lockdown, triggering a double dip recession.

With the furlough scheme due to end on Saturday and unemployment expected to increase sharply in the run-up to Christmas, Rishi Sunak is under pressure to extend the Treasury’s protection measures beyond the levels announced last week, or risk higher rates of business closures and an economic slump.

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