Tuesday 21 April 2020 1:43 pm

Applications worth £1.5bn now made to coronavirus job retention scheme

A further 45,000 businesses and 300,000 employees have registered for the government’s wage subsidy scheme, according to the Treasury.

A Treasury spokesman said today that 185,000 businesses with 1.3m employees had applied for the job retention scheme as of midnight last night.

Read more: One million employees already registered for job retention scheme

The total amount this covers would be £1.5bn, however the spokesman said that none of the applications had been approved yet.

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The scheme runs until June, but so far the scheme is only paying out wages for March and April.

“The applications will be checked in the coming day or so,” the spokesman said.

“We’ve said money should be in bank accounts within six days.”

The job retention scheme sees the government pay 80 per cent of wages, up to £2,500 a month, for furloughed employees unable to work due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Resolution Foundation, a left-leaning think tank, estimates that eight million people will be paid out through the scheme and that it will cost up to £40bn for every three months it runs.

Read more: Rishi Sunak ‘not persuaded’ to underwrite 100 per cent of coronavirus loans

At yesterday’s press conference, chancellor Rishi Sunak said those already registered for the scheme were “a million people who if they had not of been furloughed would be at risk of losing their job”.

He added: “Times like this demand the sate turns to its most immediate purpose – the protection and support of its people.”