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Why I was wrong to support winding down the furlough scheme

The government must now adjust to the reality of the economic position

By Jonathan Portes  

WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/PA Images

When the facts change, I change my mind. Two months ago I wrote for this publication that the government was broadly right to end the furlough scheme, which comes to an end—at least in principle—on 1st November. With what we know now, that looks to have been the wrong call. So where do we stand?

Originally, many of us hoped for a “V-shaped” recovery—that is, that lockdown would definitively suppress the virus, so after a very sharp economic contraction resulting from the pandemic and…

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