Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave a dire warning on Thursday that the UK is “entering on of the most severe recessions” ever seen.
Despite his summer statement on Wednesday offering £30bn package to prevent mass unemployment, he warned that not everyone on furlough will get their jobs back.
Sunak gave another stark warning, that unless the economy picks up and returns to normal levels, jobs will be at risk.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Sunak was asked, is there a level of unemployment that he considers to be acceptable.
The Chancellor said, “If you’re asking me if I can protect every single job of course the answer is no. Is unemployment going to rise? Are people going to lose their jobs? Yes.
“The scale of this is significant. We are entering one of the most severe recessions this country has ever seen.
“That is of course going to have a significant impact on unemployment and job losses.
“It would be absolutely foolhardy for me to sit here and give you precise numbers or forecasts or what is or isn’t a measure of acceptability when we are living in a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty.”
The Chancellor was asked by Sky News, if all workers on who are on furlough will return back to work?
He warned, “No. I’ve been very clear that we are not going to be able to protect every single job. It would be wrong of me to pretend otherwise.
“There are going to be difficult times ahead and as you’ve acknowledged there are forecasts of people predicting significant levels of unemployment.
“That weighs very heavily on me which is why I wanted to act yesterday, with a comprehensive plan to provide opportunities for people, protect as many existing jobs as we have but also provide people with the opportunities and the skills they need to get new jobs, to look for new opportunities.”
The Chancellor added that we have moved through the acute phase of the crisis, but, “We won’t know the exact shape of that recovery for a little while – how will people respond to the new freedoms of being able to go out and about again.
“We have to rediscover behaviours that we’ve essentially unlearned over the last few months.
“But unless activity returns to normal, those jobs are at risk of going which is why we acted in the way that we did.”