U.K. Government Pays Out Almost 50 Billion Pounds in Virus Loans

The U.K. government has paid out nearly 50 billion pounds ($64 billion) to firms across its three major coronavirus lending programs, according to new figures published Tuesday.

While the pace of lending has gradually slowed since the plan began in May, the sum continues to increase by around 2 billion pounds a week -- a sign that businesses still need support as lockdown begins to lift.

Meanwhile, the cost of supporting private-sector workers through the coronavirus pandemic climbed to 39.5 billion pounds. The government will start unwinding its assistance programs next month.

The furlough program, which pays 80% of a full-time wage, was supporting 9.5 million jobs as of July 19, according to the latest weekly statistics from HMRC, the U.K. tax authority. That’s is due to taper from August, with employers taking on more of the burden.

The first tranche of the government’s help for the self-employed closed earlier this month after providing 7.8 billion pounds to 2.7 million workers. A second plan will start in August.

PlanUsageCost (Pounds)
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme9.5 million jobs31.7 billion
Self-employment Income Support2.7 million claims7.8 billion
Bounce Back Loan Scheme

1,113,312

loans
33.68 billion
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

57,234

loans
12.65 billion
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme457 loans3.1 billion

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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