CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak has announced new measures to prevent millions of job losses in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

As the furlough scheme comes to an end in October, Mr Sunak said he has been working to help ‘strike the balance between managing the virus and protecting the jobs and livelihoods of millions’.

Speaking to MPs, he announced a new job support scheme would see the Government 'directly support' the wages of people in viable jobs working at least a third of their normal hours.

The Government will increase a person's wage to cover two thirds of the pay they have lost by reducing their working hours.

The scheme is open to 'firms who need it most', even if they did not make use of furlough, and larger business can only apply if their turnover has fallen because of the crisis.

It will run for six months, starting in November.

Explaining the new scheme, Mr Sunak told the Commons: "The furlough was the right policy at the time we introduced it, it provided immediate short-term protection for millions of jobs through a period of acute crisis.

"But as the economy re-opens it is fundamentally wrong to hold people in jobs that only exist inside the furlough."

Mr Sunak said the Government will provide similar support for the self-employed.

He told the Commons: “I am extending the existing self-employed grant on similar terms and conditions as the new Jobs Support Scheme.”

Alongside the plans to help save jobs, Mr Sunak has announced a 'pay as you grow' scheme to allow firms to repay bounce back loans over a period of up to 10 years.

VAT will also be kept at 5 per cent for hospitality and tourism until March 31, 2021.