UK businesses voluntarily return £215m in furlough cash

UK firms have voluntarily returned more than £215m to the government in furlough scheme payments they did not need or took in error.

Data released by HM Revenue and Customs shows that 80,433 companies have sent back £215,756,121 as of 15 September, according to a Freedom of Information request sent by PA Media.

Some employers returned money sent to them, while others asked for smaller payments in subsequent rounds of funding.

A total of £35.4bn has been paid out as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).  HMRC officials believe £3.5bn may have been paid out in error or to fraudsters.

HMRC said: "HMRC welcomes those employers who have voluntarily returned CJRS grants to HMRC because they no longer need the grant, or have realised they've made errors and followed our guidance on putting things right."

Under CJRS - workers placed on leave have received 80% of their pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. At first this was all paid for by the government, but firms are now having to make a contribution to wages as well.

Despite much criticism and calls from major industry figures to extend support, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed CJRS scheme will end in October, leaving many jobs unprotected. If employers bring their staff back and keep them in employment until the end of January 2021, then they will receive a £1,000 bonus from the Government’s Job Retention Bonus Scheme.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to extend the CJRS scheme, arguing that it would keep people “in suspended animation”.


Опубликовано 20.09.2020.

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