May 12, 2020 / 4:05 PM / 21 days ago

UK wage subsidy scheme costing 8 bln pounds a month - Sunak

LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) - British finance minister Rishi Sunak said the government’s coronavirus jobs retention scheme was costing about 8 billion pounds ($9.8 billion) a month but the final costs were hard to estimate because it depended on take-up.

“This is costing in the run rate of around 8 billion pounds per month at the moment but that will depend on the ultimate take-up,” Sunak told BBC television in an interview.

Earlier he announced a four-month extension of the plan - under which the government is paying 80% of the wages of workers who are temporarily laid off - until the end of October but said employers would have to contribute from August. ($1 = 0.8129 pounds) (Writing by William Schomberg, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)

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