Government loans to support businesses during the Covid-19 crisis have now reached £52bn in total, its latest figures have revealed.
The Treasury’s latest weekly update shows that the majority of this has been made up of lending via the Bounce Back Loan scheme – with £35.47bn so far paid out to 1,174,854 UK companies.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes made up the second biggest portion, with £13.68bn in total given to support 60,409 small companies, while the equivalent scheme for large businesses loaned £3.5bn across 516 companies.
Meanwhile, the Future Fund support scheme – designed to support ‘high-growth’ companies that rely heavily on investment, such as start-ups – has paid out £588.3m so far.
Separately, the Coronavirus Job Retention – aka furlough – scheme has paid £34.7bn to 9.6m workers since the start of the pandemic, across a total of 1.2m different companies.
The Government’s self-employment income support scheme – which recently opened applications for a second round of grants – handed out £7.8bn to workers, meanwhile.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has resisted calls to extend the furlough scheme, however, with unions and opposition parties urging caution that the scheme may be ending too soon.
Speaking last week, the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford warned ‘thousands of people could lose their jobs unnecessarily’, and that ending the scheme before a bounce back in the economy would be ‘a grave mistake’.
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