- New statistics show that businesses have relayed £1.3 billion in furlough cash, with £300 million returned in the last three months.
- The repayments are being made as more employees return to work as the economy recovers.
- The number of people on furlough has fallen to the lowest level since the start of the pandemic, with a further 340,000 people moving off the scheme in July.
Figures released show 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 £1.3 billion have been repaid to HMRC since July 2020 through adjustments to claims and the voluntary disclosure service. These are expected to continue 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.
HMRC is also cracking down on those who have fraudulently claimed furlough through its 1,250-strong Taxpayer Protection Taskforce.
With businesses reopening and employment rising to near pre-pandemic levels due to the rollout of the vaccination programme, the number of people on furlough has fallen to a record low of 1.6 million. Around 340,000 people left the scheme in July, with more than a third aged between 18 and 34.
The furlough scheme has protected around 12 million jobs and supported more than 1.3 million businesses, with 910,000 jobs in Scotland, 470,000 jobs in Wales and 280,000 jobs in Northern Ireland.
The government is doubling down on its Plan for Jobs as the UK economy rebounds – focusing support on giving people skills and opportunities needed to succeed in the jobs of tomorrow through schemes including Kickstart, Restart and apprenticeships.
How to repay furlough
Customers can make a repayment online by card through HMRC’s online repayment service or by bank transfer.
It all ends soon
The CJRS closes on 30th September 2021. Employers need to make their September claims by 14th October 2021.