July 7, 2020 / 8:48 AM / a month ago

UK government coronavirus lending rises to 45 billion pounds

FILE PHOTO: Workers wearing face-masks walk past an information board as they travel through the Waterloo Station during the morning rush hour following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain, July 6, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government has underwritten 45 billion pounds ($56 billion) of borrowing by businesses hit by the coronavirus and spent more than 27 billion pounds so far to support jobs, finance ministry figures showed on Tuesday.

Total spending under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which supports 9.4 million jobs and is the costliest government coronavirus measure, rose to 27.4 billion pounds as of July 5 from 25.5 billion pounds a week earlier.

State-backed lending to small businesses - which receives a 100% government guarantee - rose to 30.93 billion pounds. Lending to medium-sized and large firms increased to 11.49 billion pounds and 2.58 billion pounds respectively in two programmes which offer an 80% guarantee to lenders.

($1 = 0.8015 pounds)

Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Kate Holton

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