U.K. Says Covid Booster Shots Are the Best Way to Protect Jobs
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K’s Treasury said the best way to protect jobs and businesses from the threat of the omicron variant is for people to get their booster shots instead of more financial support.
To protect the health service “as well as jobs and livelihoods across the country, our priority is to ensure everyone who is eligible gets their booster jabs as quickly as possible,” the Treasury said in a statement.
Officials are standing firm against requests for more aid to businesses, including calls to restart the furlough program after the government imposed more restrictions to control the spread of the virus. The Treasury has said its current support program remain sufficient to help companies for now.
“We have acted early to help control the virus’s spread -- while avoiding damaging economic and social restrictions by allowing businesses to remain open,” the Treasury statement said.
Furlough ended on Sept. 30, having protected 11.7 million jobs at a cost of 70 billion pounds ($92 billion).
Data on Tuesday showed U.K. companies added to payrolls in November at a record pace and unemployment fell. The figures also suggest that the end of furlough has done nothing to ease a chronic shortage of workers, which is forcing firms to raise wages and prices.
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