The cost of the U.K.’s virus-support measures has risen to 56 billion pounds ($70 billion) as the government pays the wages of 8.7 million jobs, according to the latest figures from the Treasury.
Some 17.5 billion pounds had been claimed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as of midnight on May 31. Under the program, the government pays 80% of an employee’s wage up to a maximum of 2,500 pounds a month.
The rising cost of the of support comes as the government weighs up the economic cost of maintaining its lockdown with the risk of a second peak in coronavirus cases if the country reopens businesses too quickly.
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