COVID19 12 May 2020 Sunak has avoided a ticking time-bomb, but tough decisions remain on furlough scheme Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up The main news from Chancellor Rishi Sunak's extension of the government's furlough scheme is, New Statesman political correspondent Ailbhe Rea writes, a lack of news. Journalists had been briefed that payments through the scheme would drop to 60 per cent of wages, but Sunak said they would remain at 80 per cent, with employers and government splitting the cost from August. "That drop to 60 per cent could have been a ticking time-bomb down the line for the Chancellor, with a huge risk that it would tip millions of people into a situation where they could no longer make ends meet, with no guarantee of finding other work amidst the downturn," she writes. It's a time-bomb Sunak has, for now, defused, but more details on how the cost is split will arrive later this month. You can read the full analysis here. › How to work from home safely during a crisis Subscribe To stay on top of global affairs and enjoy even more international coverage subscribe for just £1 per month!