According to new figures, nearly nine million workers have been taken on leave as part of the government’s job-retention system.
About 1.1 billion pounds have been claimed by 1.1 million employers to lay off their employees.
Companies have placed 8.7 million employees in the government job retention program.
The scheme was designed to protect jobs during the coronavirus crisis, with the government paying 80% of the salaries, up to £ 2500, of staff sent home because their workplace had to be closed.
It’s because UK companies have borrowed over £ 30 billion from three government-backed coronavirus loans, as companies try to survive the crisis.
According to government data released Tuesday, nearly 750,000 companies have been approved for loans worth over £ 31.3 billion.
The data, which runs through Sunday last week, shows that more than 963,000 businesses have asked their banks for support as part of the schemes.
Figures show that £ 21.3 billion has been lent under the government’s repayment scheme.
The bounce back loan scheme is by far the most popular among companies, with nearly 700,000 loans approved for £ 21.3 billion.
Another 74,000 companies are not yet approved for the loans, which require minimal checks and can deposit a company up to £ 50,000 into their account within days.
The government has pledged to intervene to repay 100% of the loans provided by major lenders, such as Lloyds and Barclays, as part of the scheme.
Experts have warned that the taxpayer can get a hefty bill for the repaid loans if small businesses default on their debts to the banks.
Some who spoke to the Financial Times on Sunday warned that up to half of the repaid loans may never be repaid by companies.
Last week, Sir Howard Davies, President of the Royal Bank of Scotland, called for the creation of a company car that could suck up all the bad debt from the banks.
“A few billion pounds of public money” should never be repaid to the banks, Sir Howard warned during a panel convened by the Sunday Times.
Less concern has been raised about the government’s two other plans, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and a similar scheme for larger companies called CLBILS.
The government guarantees only 80% of these loans, and banks are obliged to go deeper into the companies that have applied for the cash.
Tuesday’s figures showed that over £ 8.9 billion was lent to nearly 46,000 companies under CBILS, and another £ 1.1 billion to 191 companies as part of CLBILS.