By Deirdre Tynan • 21 September 2021 • 11:05
British businesses have given back £1.3 billion in furlough cash but the government is hunting for fraudsters.
New figures 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 has been repaid to HMRC since July 2020 through adjustments to claims and the voluntary disclosure service, which will continue into 2022.
However, HMRC is also cracking down on those who have fraudulently claimed furlough through its 1,250-strong Taxpayer Protection Taskforce.
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 two 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,” he added on September 21.
The number of people on furlough has also fallen to a record low of 1.6 million. Around 340,000 people left the scheme in July, with more than a third of them aged between 18 and 34.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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