A CUMBRIAN accountant says many firms are making redundancies "under the radar" which will kick in over the coming months after the Government furlough scheme comes to an end.

Graham Lamont, chief executive at accountants Lamont Pridmore, said he was "constantly in meetings with clients who are making people redundant now".

“They have planned it so by the end of October the only people that will still be there are those that are required to take the business forward,” he said.

“It’s all about market intelligence in your sector, what are your customers saying and your suppliers, what do you think is the turnover you could expect over the next few months.

“It’s then about rebuilding the economic model around the income stream.

“We are on a few databases nationally for tourism and hospitality and from either a wet sales or food sales point of view in a restaurant they are at about 50 per cent of what it was pre-lockdown.

“In addition to that you are looking at potential area or city lockdowns."

The uncertainty was set to continue, he said.

“It has changed and will change for some time.

“Some of the large hotels are looking at a three to four year recovery plan.

“You’ve got to ask what is a realistic estimate of sales going forward.

“Costs including wages will have to be trimmed accordingly.”

The Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has paid 80 per cent of the wages of those unable to work due to the virus, comes to an end at the end of next month.

However, employers will receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who has previously been furloughed if they remain continuously employed to the end of January.

“That might hold a few back, but most of the people I am seeing are making the redundancies now,” said Graham.

“They are not headline redundancies because they’ve not happened, but they are going to happen in the next two or three months.

“I think it is happening but under the radar.”

The latest figures from the Office for National statistics showed the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit in the county jumped to 300 in July compared to June to reach 14,205.

Carlisle saw the highest rise of 120.

Compared to before the coronavirus lockdown in March, the number of claimants in Cumbria was 7275 higher.

This was a rise of 105 per cent compared to 111 per cent nationally.