Businesses received more than £13bn Government support in last month

PA

More than £13 billion has been passed to thousands of British companies and employees in the last month through five Government support schemes, even as the support is slowly wound down.

New figures released on Tuesday show that businesses have borrowed £2.55 billion through the Bounce Back Loans Scheme between August 16 and September 20.

The new money was paid to more than 86,000 companies by the high street banks that administer the scheme.

The loans were set up to help small companies get access to the cash they need to survive.

Meanwhile two similar schemes, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and its equivalent for large businesses called CLBILS, paid out £1.77 billion and £340 million respectively.

The Government has also paid out £3.9 billion in furlough cash during the same period, and £4.8 billion to 1.9 million self-employed people.

The new data is released as pressure builds on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the furlough scheme in some form past the October 31 cut-off date.

On Tuesday, Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey said that it is time to “stop and rethink” the programme, favouring a targeted approach which helps specific sectors.

It is an opinion which echoes Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has called on the Government not to remove all support in one go.

The calls have grown louder as the Government is set to announce a new curfew which will force pubs and restaurants to close before 10pm.

Trade body UKHospitality has already called for an extension to the VAT cut until the end of next year, a continuation of the business rates holiday, and more employment support for hospitality businesses.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs are dependent on it, the trade body said.

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