Ceredigion MP Ben Lake has welcomed the extension of the furlough scheme, announced by the Chancellor earlier today.

Mr Lake, Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson, welcomed the Rishi Sunak MP’s announcement that businesses forced to close due to new restrictions will be eligible for grants to pay up to 67 per cent of employees’ salaries.

Businesses will be eligible to claim up to a maximum of £2,100 per employee per month, and will only be able to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions.

Mr Lake has stressed that a “sector-specific extension of the furlough scheme” was still needed for badly affected industries.

Mr Lake said: “This is a welcome U-turn by the Chancellor, addressing a glaring gap in his underwhelming Winter Economy Plan two weeks ago, offering much-needed support to people and businesses in areas hard-pressed by coronavirus.

“However, a targeted extension of the furlough scheme is required across the UK, not only in lockdown areas. Plaid Cymru has consistently called for a sector-specific extension of the furlough scheme for badly affected industries such as hospitality, tourism and the arts. They are facing an extremely challenging winter regardless of the level of restrictions.

“This is not the time for ideology by the Chancellor, and he must take every step to protect livelihoods.

"This must include lifting the Welsh Government’s borrowing cap so we can afford greater support for Welsh businesses and local authorities to help our communities through these difficult times.”