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Number of furloughed workers hits 9.5 million

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Written by: Emma Lunn
21/07/2020
A total of 9.5 million jobs have been furloughed at a cost of £29.8bn, according to HMRC statistics.

As of Sunday 19 July, 9.5 million workers have been furloughed by 1.2 million employers. In total, the value of claims under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) stands at £29.8bn.

The total value of claims to cover staff wages under the scheme has jumped from £28.7bn last week. The government releases weekly furlough figures every Tuesday.

Support for the self-employed

Claims made by self-employed workers who are struggling during the pandemic have remained at 2.7 million for the third week running.

The total value of claims made under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) which launched in May, remained at £7.8bn for the second week in a row.

The deadline for applications for the first SEISS grant closed last week. A second grant will be available for self-employed workers from mid-August.

This second grant will be payable at a level equivalent to 70% of the taxpayer’s annual average profits, capped at £2,190 per month, so the maximum amount payable will be £6,570 to cover three months.

Support for businesses

Separate figures from the Treasury show that £47.9bn has been given in loans to struggling businesses.

Under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, more than 1,084,153 businesses have received £32.79bn in loans. As of 19 July, 1.32 million applications for the scheme had been submitted.

As part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, £12.2bn has been approved to help more than 55,600 businesses, with more than 112,000 applications having been made under the scheme.

Turning to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Treasury statistics revealed £2.89bn of loans have been approved for 428 businesses, with 831 applications having been received.

Stephen Pegge, managing director of Commercial Finance at UK Finance, said: “As the economy begins to re-open, the banking and finance industry stands ready to support businesses through these challenging times.

“Almost £48bn has been approved to more than 1.1 million businesses through the government-backed lending schemes, helping to improve their cash flow and adapt to the new economic environment.

“This support is just one part of the industry’s wider plan to help businesses in the UK, including commercial lending, capital repayment holidays, extended overdrafts and asset-based finance.

“It’s important to remember that any lending provided under government-backed schemes is a debt not a grant, and so firms should carefully consider their ability to repay before applying.”

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