FURTHER support to prevent winter job losses has been criticised across the borough – with many groups not believing the package goes far enough.

Yesterday afternoon, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new support scheme which will come into effect in November.

Although some were relieved to see the measures, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce raised questions about how it would impact workers.

A spokesman for the group said: “For several months, businesses have been asking for support to continue beyond the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and the new measure are a partial answer to that call, albeit a far less generous one.

“Although several previously furloughed employees have since returned to work, it is estimated that up to three million are still at home.

“The Jobs Support Scheme puts an additional cash burden on employers to keep staff in the payroll because they now have to pay a much higher proportion of wages.

“There is now a growing sense that the covid-19 pandemic will cause higher unemployment and leave deep economic scars.”

The furlough replacement will prop up the wages of “viable” jobs for six months, where staff work at least a third of their normal hours.

Businesses and the government will the contribute to increase wages to cover the pay lost through reduced hours.

Cllr Nick Peel, the labour leader in Bolton, called for the current support to remain in place, specifically targeted at workers who needed it the most.

He said: "We're not in the same situation as we were in March – we don't have that full lockdown so it doesn't need to cost the country as much as it did before

"It should apply fully to those people told to remain home and self isolate, and to companies that are being told to remain closed.

"The government is guilty of a broad brush strategy which we know just doesn't work. It's been predicted that tens of thousands of job losses will be seen when furlough ends, but it should remain a possibility where there's no other option."

Elsewhere, a group calling for greater devolution for the north of England welcomed the news.

Henri Murison, director of the non-political Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “Today’s plan from the Chancellor is welcome and will avoid the worst excesses of viable job losses due to the crisis.

“This will play a critical role in helping many across the country but will not be enough to achieve true economic rebalancing.”