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More than 300k firms furlough 2.2m workers

New HMRC figures reveal that a total of 309,000 companies have now furloughed more than 2.2m employees. Around 185,000 firms made claims on Monday, the first day the scheme opened, with another 124,000 submitting applications the following day.

Yesterday’s figures are expected to show a further sharp rise in the number of workers furloughed. Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the state picks up the cost of 80% of staff wages, up to a limit of £2,500 a month for each worker. HMRC has so far estimated the total cost to the taxpayer of the scheme at £2.6bn. Meanwhile, the FT reports on concerns that the reduction in claims on Tuesday suggests a lack of flexibility in the scheme’s design.


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