One-in-three of the UK’s workforce had their pay subsidised by the government during Covid-19, new figures from the Treasury revealed today.
The figures showed that 11.6m people were on the furlough scheme at some point throughout the pandemic, while 2.9m self-employed people made use of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
The furlough scheme has seen the government pay 80 per cent of people’s wages, up to £2,500, for those in England unable to work for large parts of the pandemic.
It is now being wound down, with the government reducing the percentage of wages it pays each month until it finishes completely in September.
According to data published by HMRC, 2.4m people are still on furlough in the UK, down from a high of 9m in May 2020.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies now expects there to be a rise in “redundancies over the summer even before the final end of the scheme.”
“We know the job is not yet done and our economy needs to recover – which is why we are continuing our support to give everyone the best chance of moving on from this crisis,” chancellor Rishi Sunak said.
The new figures showed Greater London was the region with the most people who went onto the furlough scheme at any point, with 1.63m claimants.
England’s South East was next with 1.55m.