Fears taxpayer could be saddled with huge bill as businesses fail to repay £50bn in Government-backed rescue loans
Almost £50billion of Government-backed loans to businesses hit by Covid-19 have been approved so far – fuelling fears the taxpayer could be saddled with a huge bill if the money is not repaid in full.
A total of 1.17m firms have borrowed £49.43billion through schemes set up by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help them survive the pandemic, latest figures show.
Dark days: A total of 1.17m firms have borrowed £49.43billion through schemes set up by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help them survive the pandemic
This includes £33.68billion in bounce back loans for 1.1m businesses. Another £12.65billion has been handed out through the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme and £3.1billion through the large business interruption loan scheme to larger firms.
But it is feared that much of it will not be repaid as businesses go bust. The Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that almost £34billion may not be repaid, leaving the taxpayer to foot the bill.
The Government is also continuing to support 9.5m workers on furlough. The latest HMRC figures up to July 26 show 1.2m businesses are claiming £31.7billion.