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DUP MP Carla Lockhart has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, asking him to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme with a particular focus on industries hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Upper Bann Member of Parliament said:

“We all want to see our economy recover, but it is clear that for some industries that is going to take longer than hoped for. This is through no fault of those involved in these sectors, but simply dictated by the nature of their business.

If you look at our aviation industry, travel industry, entertainment venues and tourism sectors, it is obvious that they cannot recover to maintain the jobs they employ, by the end of October when the furlough scheme ends.

That leaves thousands of people staring at unemployment in a matter of weeks. That’s livelihoods at stake, families’ futures thrown into chaos. It is incumbent on the Government to recognise that the rationale for support at the start of the CJRS remains as strong in some industries, and therefore the scheme ought to continue in a more targeted way.

I have written to the Chancellor to make this case. We also raised this with the Prime Minister in the House of Commons this week and the Northern Ireland Executive has written in similar terms to the Chancellor. We need action, and those affected need clarity. I will continue to fight for the support and trust the Government will listen.”