£1.3 billion of furlough payments given back by businesses

21 September 2021

The Treasury has reported that £1.3 billion in furlough payments has been returned by businesses, with £300 million sent back within the last three months.

Figures released by the Treasury today (21 September) show that businesses who have overclaimed or decided that they no longer require payments which were received through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) have returned payments. The total repaid relates to the adjustments to claims and the voluntary disclosure service since July 2020 and will continue well into 2022.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

“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.

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

With the furlough scheme coming to an end this month, payments are being returned as employees return to work and the economy recovers. It has also been reported that the number of people on furlough is at the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. The report states that 340,000 people were moved off the scheme in July alone.

In addition, HMRC is also cracking down on those who have fraudulently claimed furlough through its 1,250-strong Taxpayer Protection Taskforce. 

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