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Number of furloughed workers stands at 9.6 million

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

A total of 9.6 million jobs have been furloughed at a cost of £33.8bn, according to HMRC statistics.

As of Sunday 2 August, 9.6 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 £33.8bn.

The figure is up from 9.5m workers a week ago, with the total value of claims jumping from £31.7bn to £33.8bn in the past week. The government releases weekly furlough figures every Tuesday.

Support for the self-employed

Claims under the first tranche of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme closed on Monday 13 July.

Up until 19 July, 2.7m self-employed workers had claimed under the scheme, with the total value of claims standing at £7.8bn.

A second grant will be available for self-employed workers from 17 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 more than £50bn has been given in loans to struggling businesses.

Under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, 1,135,575 businesses had received £34.34bn in loans as of 2 August. More than 1.37 million applications for the scheme have been submitted.

As part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, £13.08bn has been approved to help more than 58,000 businesses, with more than 119,000 applications having been made under the scheme.

Turning to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Treasury statistics revealed £3.27bn of loans have been approved for 482 businesses, with 887 applications having been received.

Stephen Pegge, managing director of commercial finance at UK Finance, said: “Over the past three months, 26 lenders have thrown their support behind the Bounce Back Loan Scheme by lending to over 1.13 million small and micro enterprises, highlighting the importance of the scheme to the small business community in these challenging times.

“Bounce Back Loans are just one aspect of the sector’s support package for the UK economy, alongside other measures including capital repayment holidays, extended overdrafts and invoice finance facilities. This support is designed to ensure businesses are able to navigate the coming months, but diverse sources of finance will be needed to help them prosper in the future.

“It remains 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.”