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Businesses voluntarily return £215 million furlough payments

British employers have voluntarily returned more than £215 million to the Government in furlough payments they decided they did not want or need.

According to figures from HMRC, 80,433 employers have returned money that they were given to cover workers’ salaries.

It is said to be a tiny part of the overall £35 billion that has been paid out under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and only a fraction of the £3.5 billion that officials believe may have been paid out in error or to fraudsters under the scheme.

HMRC said: “HMRC welcomes those employers who have voluntarily returned CJRS grants to HMRC because they no longer need the grant, or have realised they’ve made errors and followed our guidance on putting things right.”

To date, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has helped 1.2 million employers across the UK furlough 9.6 million jobs.

The scheme comes to an end on 31st October.

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