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Media captionRishi Sunak: Expansion of Job Support Scheme is a “safety net”

Employees who work for UK firms forced to shut by law because of coronavirus restrictions will get two-thirds of their wages paid for by the government.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it was an “expansion” of the Job Support Scheme, which begins on 1 November and will be available for six months.

A Treasury source says it could roughly cost hundreds of millions a month.

A restrictions update, which could see pubs and restaurants shut in the worst-affected areas, is expected on Monday.

Labour’s shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said Mr Sunak’s “delay in delivering support has caused unnecessary anxiety and job losses”.

Regional leaders have called for more help for struggling firms.

The support will be reviewed in January. Until November businesses that are asked to close can continue to use the furlough scheme.

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