Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirms furlough payments will be paid by end of April

FURLOUGH payments to companies who've applied for help to pay 80 per cent of staff wages will be paid by the end of April. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed when the scheme is set to open during the government's latest update on coronavirus.

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He said the government is "on track" to open system for furlough payments on April 20 2020, with payments set to be paid by April 25.

Mr Sunak said: "It will open on the 20th of April for applications is the working assumption. 

"There will be several days between submitting an application and receiving cash." 

He added that this time would allow for fraud check and processing of applications, with payments made before the end of the month.  

Employers can choose to pay you 80 per cent of your salary on time like you normally would and then claim it back when the portal opens at the end of the month, but they don't have to.

The scheme runs for at least three months and can be backdated to March 1 2020, but it may be extended if necessary.

It allows employers to pay up to 80 per cent of wages up to £2,500 a month.

But the government has also asked companies to top-up payments so that workers don't lose out.

Earlier today the Office for Budget Responsibility said UK GDP could be slashed by 35 per cent – and two million could lose their jobs over the pandemic.

The Chancellor warned that the economy will be hit by coronavirus – but that it will bounce back.

He said: "These are tough times and there will be more to come.

"We cannot protect every business."

But he stressed that the economy would "bounce back quickly" from the shock of the virus.

And he promised that young people today would still have "hope and opportunity" in their futures – even if they looked uncertain right now.

"Our job is to provide opportunity for you when we come our of this.

"So to me it doesn't matter whether you're young, middle aged, or old whether you live in London or in the countryside, or in the southeast..

"We want to make sure that there's economic opportunity for you."

Read our need-to-know guide to how furlough works.

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