THOUSANDS of jobs across the constituency have been protected during the coronavirus crisis, according to recent figures.

Government figures show that the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which was first announced in March, has protected 11,600 jobs in North West Hampshire.

For comparison, that figure is lower in many nearby constituencies including Romsey and Southampton North (8,500), Winchester (9,100), Devizes (9,500) and Salisbury (10,800), but higher in Newbury (12,700) and Basingstoke (13,900).

A further 3,700 self-employed people in North West Hampshire are also said to be receiving grants of £12.2million from the government to help survive the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The government’s furlough scheme has been described as a “world leading economic package” by the MP for North West Hampshire, Kit Malthouse.

He also says he is “very proud of how our local community has responded to this crisis”.

Mr Malthouse added: “We have come together and looked out for one another, especially people who are vulnerable and shielding. And I cannot thank our local health and care workers enough for everything they have done.

“The government has worked hard to support many thousands of local jobs, incomes and livelihoods through this difficult time by putting together a world leading economic package.

“I’m pleased to say this support will continue as we begin to recover from Covid and get the economy moving.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Our economic response to coronavirus was designed to keep people in work, protect people’s incomes, and support businesses.

“These measures have been on a scale unmatched by any government in recent history, all to give us the best chance of recovering quickly as the economy reopens.

“Now our energies are focused on getting people back to work safely, growing the economy and ensuring people can thrive in the new post-Covid world.”

Across the country, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has supported 8.7 million jobs at a cost of £17.5 billion, according to government figures. The scheme covers 80 per cent of people’s wages, up to £2,500 a month, through government grants.

More than 2 million self-employed people are receiving support through the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.