RISHI Sunak’s announcement that the furlough scheme was to be extended until December has been met with frustration by the devolved governments and England’s regional mayors.

Though there was a general welcome for the financial support, there is anger that it only happened when the south of England was in need. 

Instead when Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and huge swathes of England were forced to introduce stricter restrictions, the only help from the Tories was the Job Support Scheme, which paid workers 67% of their wage, far less than the 80% paid for by furlough. 

Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes said she had been “asking for an extension to furlough for months”.

She added: “As businesses made redundancy decisions, as the Chancellor kept re-announcing poor alternatives & as businesses faced tougher restrictions. Finally, a mini extension, literally the night before it ends.”

Green MSP Ross Greer said the decision showed where power lies in the UK. He tweeted: "Says a lot that the UK Government wouldn't extend the furlough when Scotland & Wales were crying out for it but flipped when England needed it. "English workers deserve support but so did workers across the country. The Tories have just shown, again, where power lies in the UK"

When Sunak tweeted about the extension of the furlough last night, Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, tweeted: “But when we asked you to do that for the lowest-paid people in the North, you refused. People here will remember that.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson agreed: "That's the point about contempt... that they dismissed the [north of England's] call for the furlough scheme to be introduced in tier three but now have all of a sudden found the 80% furlough scheme for a tier four or national lockdown," he said.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford tweeted: “Furlough is crucial for businesses. But @RishiSunak said he wouldn’t extend it in Wales when we asked. He also said no when we asked him to bring forward the Job Support Scheme to help businesses – we even said we’d pay the difference. It’s now clear he could have said yes.”

However, Tory MP Andrew Bowie paid tribute to the Chancellor's announcement. 

"Furlough extended across the UK. We stand together," he said.

The SNP's Neil Gray wasn't convinced. "But only when the UK Government deems it necessary, Andrew? Why not when Scottish Government along with Welsh and NI requested this in September?" he replied.