RISHI Sunak's U-turn regarding the furlough scheme ("Sunak is forced to extend furlough to the end of March", The Herald, November 6) was welcome. His announcement that furlough will be extended until March will please millions who were facing uncertainty and possible redundancy. But are there other measurers we should be looking at?

Covid-19 has certainly given the country a wake-up call, as many thousands have gone the extra mile in serving their local communities, friends and neighbours, demonstrating a caring society. Covid has also given the country the opportunity to review exactly how we function in providing major services and I am sure many of our welfare policies will see reform as a result. Future employment opportunities should certainly be focused towards the younger generation to give them a chance in life. So could the Chancellor’s announcement have gone further with this focus in mind?

All sectors of society are being affected, but one sector that could have a solution presented are those being forced into early retirement – those over 60, those who will struggle to find future employment. Surely there must be another way than to simply ask them to join the employment statistics and apply for benefits? After all, many have worked close on four decades of their lives, and if the focus of future job opportunities should be geared towards the younger generation, we must not stand by and let those in the twilight years of their working lives down.

This, then, calls for an urgent review of the state pension age if we are going to focus on future employment opportunities for the younger generation. It simply does not make economic sense for those being forced into early retirement to have to start the process of claiming benefits.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.