U.K. Treasury Recoups $1.4 Billion of Furlough Cash From Firms
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. Treasury has recouped more than 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) in furlough payments from companies either because they claimed it in error or voluntarily chose to refund the money.
While the repayments mark a welcome boost to Treasury coffers, they’re a drop in the ocean compared to the 352-billion cost so far of the government’s effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic and support workers and businesses.
The government’s flagship Covid aid program pays furloughed workers as much as 80% of their wages. It has cost the government 64 billion pounds to date, supporting a total of 11.5 million jobs at one point or another over the past 15 months. It was still supporting some 3.4 million jobs at the end of April, according to the most recent data from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the government’s tax authority.
The data confirmed by HMRC on Friday shows almost 709 million pounds has been paid back by companies that didn’t need to do so. Another 319 million pounds has been clawed back from companies which claimed too much in error. The information was released in response to a freedom of information request from the Financial Times.
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