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Furloughed and self-employed receive £50bn in government support

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

The government has handed out nearly £40bn to cover furloughed staff wages while grants for the self-employed top £13bn, latest statistics reveal.

As of Sunday 20 September, 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 £39.3bn.

The furlough figure is the same as a month ago, although the total value of claims has jumped from £35.4bn, the HM Treasury figures revealed.

Claims under the second tranche of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme which opened on Monday 17 July, show that 2.2 million claims have been made at a total value of £5.6bn.

This second grant is 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 is £6,570 to cover three months.

Up until 19 July, 2.7m self-employed workers had claimed under the first tranche of the scheme, with the total value of claims standing at £7.8bn. The maximum amount available here stood at £7,500.

Support for businesses

Meanwhile, figures from the Treasury showed that more than £57bn has been given in loans to struggling businesses.

Under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, 1.26 million businesses had received £38bn in loans as of 20 September. More than 1.5 million applications for the scheme have been submitted.

As part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, £15.45bn has been approved to help more than 66,585 businesses, with more than 142,000 applications having been made under the scheme by 20 September.

Turning to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Treasury statistics revealed £3.84bn of loans have been approved for 566 businesses, with nearly 1,000 applications having been received.

The Future Fund (up to 16 August) revealed a total of 902 applications had been made, with 590 loans agreed at a value of £588.3m.

Stephen Pegge, managing director of commercial finance at UK Finance, said: “Businesses of all sizes continue to face significant challenges in the face of the pandemic, but the banking and finance industry has a clear plan to get them through these tough times.

“Lenders have approved finance for over 1.3 million businesses through government-backed loan schemes, with bank staff working incredibly hard to ensure companies can access the support they need.

“These schemes are just one part of a wide package of measures from the industry, including commercial lending, capital repayment holidays, extended overdrafts and invoice finance facilities.

“It is 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 completing an application.”