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DUP Parliamentary Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has welcomed a statement from the Chancellor clarifying that employees on a company’s PAYE system by 19 March 2020 will now be eligible for the Job Retention Scheme rather than the original 28 February cut-off.

Commenting Sir Jeffrey said,

“Last week we had written to the Chancellor urging him to consider some changes to the Government’s economic supports in this Covid-19 crisis.

The original cut-off date for the Job Retention Scheme had proven detrimental for some employees in Northern Ireland therefore this new date of 19 March is a very welcome step forward. Thousands more employees will now be eligible for the scheme.

We will continue to work with the Government to seek economic supports which can protect and help revive our economy on the other side of this pandemic. One area we need to see massively addressed is connectivity for Northern Ireland into the rest of the United Kingdom.”

North Antrim DUP MP Ian Paisley said,

“This is a very helpful and sensible amendment by the Chancellor. I had scores of people in my constituency who had been moving between jobs and were not eligible for the 28 February cut off. The Government estimate that this change will make 200,000 more employees eligible for the scheme and I know many of those are in North Antrim.”