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Speaking to Sky News, the Tory MP, who voted against the implementation of the second coronavirus national lockdown in the Commons on Wednesday, claimed the extension of the furlough scheme announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak will see taxpayers having to repay borrowings for years to come. Sir Desmond blasted: “Of course, the extension of the furlough scheme makes the pill less bitter but let’s not deceive ourselves.
“We will have to pay back these shedloads of money that are being borrowed.
“That means for years, there are things that we will like to have in public expenditure and public investment that we will not be able to afford.”
He added: “It may be the right course of action given the circumstances.
“But we are going to have to pay for this either through inflation or through taxes in the future.
“There’s no such thing as the money tree.”
It comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extension to the furlough scheme until March 2021. Mr Sunak said the Government’s highest priority remains “to protect jobs and livelihoods”.
Making an economic statement in the Commons, the Chancellor told MPs: “The Bank’s forecasts this morning show economic activity is supported by our substantial fiscal and monetary policy action.
“And the IMF just last week described the UK’s economic plan as aggressive, unprecedented, successful in holding down unemployment and business failures, and one of the best examples of co-ordinated action globally.
“Our highest priority remains the same: to protect jobs and livelihoods.
“We can announce today that the furlough scheme will not be extended for one month, it will be extended until the end of March.
“The Government will continue to help pay people’s wages up to 80 percent of the normal amount. All employers will have to pay for hours not worked is the cost of employer NICs and pension contributions.
“We will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.”
Rishi Sunak also outlined support for those who are self-employed.
He told MPs: “For self-employed people, I can confirm the next income support grant which covers the period November to January will now increase to 80 percent of average profits up to £7,500.”
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The Chancellor told the Commons “upfront guaranteed funding” for the devolved administrations will increase by £2 billion.
He said: “I also want to reassure the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The furlough scheme was designed and delivered by the Government of the United Kingdom on behalf of all the people of the United Kingdom, wherever they live.
“That has been the case since March, it is the case now and will remain the case until next March.
“It is a demonstration of the strength of the Union and undeniable truth of this crisis we have only been able to provide this level of economic support because we are a United Kingdom.
“And I can announce today that the upfront guaranteed funding for devolved administrations is increasing from £14 billion to £16 billion.
“This Treasury is, has been and will always be the Treasury for the whole of the United Kingdom.”
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