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Petition Extend furlough scheme for the UK Aviation sector to help stop redundancies

We call on the Government to intervene and provide support to the UK Aviation Industry by increasing the furlough period as per other European countries. If Government support has been provided, any form of agreement should caveat that future dividend pay outs be paused until recovery is ensured.

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easyJet has
- paid out £174m in dividends
- used the Governments job retention scheme
- received a £600m Government loan
- announced in excess of 1200 redundancies
- announced 3 base closures which will affect the surrounding area and local communities.

We emphasis the importance of protecting and maintaining regional connectivity. The Government must get a commitment from operators receiving financial assistance that they will continue to operate out of their current regional UK bases.

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Government responded

This response was given on 24 August 2020

The government continues to provide comprehensive support to sectors and the economy as a whole to ensure that jobs and livelihoods are protected.

Read the response in full

The Government recognises the challenging times facing the aviation sector as a result of Covid-19. The sector is important to the UK economy, and firms in the sector are able to draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including a Bank of England scheme for firms to raise capital, Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills, financial support for employees and VAT deferrals. The measures have been designed to ensure that firms of any size receive the help they need to get through this difficult time.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is specifically designed to protect jobs and support businesses threatened by the pandemic, across the whole country and across all sectors. The scheme has successfully protected over 9 million jobs to date.

However, the Government’s judgement has been that it would be extremely challenging to target the CJRS on specific sectors in a fair and deliverable way, and to do so may not be the most effective or sensible way to provide longer term support for those sectors most affected by coronavirus.

It would also be difficult to target the CJRS at specific sectors without creating distortions, particularly since many firms work across multiple sectors. There are other schemes including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme that can provide support to specific firms.

If firms across the most affected sectors find themselves in severe and urgent financial difficulties as a result of Covid-19, even following the Government‘s cross-economy wage and financial interventions, then the Government remains open to discussions about bespoke financial support but only as a last resort. Any intervention would need to be on terms appropriate to protect the interests of taxpayers.

HM Treasury

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