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UK furlough scheme comes to an end

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he was “immensely proud” of the scheme, but that it was the right time for it to close…reports Asian Lite News.

The UK’s furlough scheme is closing on Thursday, but some badly-hit sectors are saying support should continue, the BBC reported.

The scheme, which was introduced in March 2020, helped pay the wages of 11.6 million workers after Covid-19 forced large parts of the economy to close.

At the end of July it was still supporting the incomes of around 1.6m workers the latest HMRC figures show.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he was “immensely proud” of the scheme, but that it was the right time for it to close.

Meanwhile, the British businesses buoyed by the UK’s economic recovery have returned £1.3 billion in furlough cash, according to new statistics.

Figures released last week showed that firms who have overclaimed or decided they no longer need payments received through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme handed back £300 million in the last three months.

In total, they have repaid £1.3 billion to HMRC since July 2020 through adjustments to claims and the voluntary disclosure service, which will continue into 2022.

“This Government stepped in to help when people needed it most, supporting nearly 12 million jobs through furlough. This worked, nearly 2 million fewer people are now expected to be out of work in the UK than previously feared,” Sunak said.

“Now with our recovery underway it is heartening to see that £1.3 billion in furlough grants have been returned as the economy recovers.”

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