One MILLION workers came off furlough in May as economy reopened and people returned to work, data shows
- At least 2.4million people are still reliant on the government’s furlough scheme
- Data from HMRC showed the biggest reduction came in drinks serving industry
- Chancellor Rishi Sunk hailed the figures as ‘fantastic’ as the scheme winds down
More than one million workers came off furlough in May as the economy reopened – but around 2.4million were still reliant on the scheme.
The data from HMRC showed the biggest reduction came in businesses serving drinks where nearly 180,000 went back to work.
Restaurants also saw a significant fall – with 133,000 workers coming off the scheme.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak hailed the ‘fantastic’ figures, saying: ‘The scheme is naturally winding down as the economy reopens but continuing to support those businesses and employees that need our help.’
More than one million workers came off furlough in May as the economy reopened – but around 2.4million were still reliant on the scheme. Chancellor Rishi Sunak hailed the figures as ‘fantastic’
But Daniel Tomlinson, of the Resolution Foundation think-tank, said the number of those still using the scheme was higher than predicted. He added that the figures offered a ‘sobering reminder’ of how ‘incomplete our Covid recovery is’.
Between 1.3 and 1.9 million people are still on furlough in the UK, according to the ONS.
The scheme, which is to start being phased out this month, will finish entirely at the end of September.
The figures come as the scale of support for businesses starts to be curtailed – even though some, such as nightclubs, pubs and travel firms continually to be subject to severe limitations on trading.
Bosses will need to pick up 10per cent of their furloughed workers’ pay in July, rising to 20per cent in August and September.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said it will cost businesses £322 in July to keep an employee earning £20,000 a year on the books. In August and September this will rise to £489.
It warned that businesses are likely to make many staff redundant this summer as a result.
Many of these same companies, such as pubs, will also face a second hit as they start paying business rates again from today.
The data from HMRC showed the biggest reduction came in businesses serving drinks where nearly 180,000 went back to work. Restaurants also saw a significant fall – with 133,000 workers coming off the scheme (file photo)
Relief for those in the leisure, hospitality and retail sectors – will also taper off today, falling from 100per cent to a 66per cent discount.
The Labour party calculated that around 450,000 companies who still have furloughed staff will need to start picking up 10per cent of the bill from July 1.
This will cost them a combined £225 million, the party said.
House buyers are also no longer eligible for the same levels of reduction in stamp duty that have been available during the pandemic.
Stamp duty was eliminated early in the crisis for all property purchases up to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland
From today, the tax-free threshold drops to £250,000 before reaching its normal £125,000 level in October.
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