Government’s £9bn Furlough bonus scheme is deadweight, warns budget watchdog
The OBR said the £9bn furlough scheme ‘is likely to be claimed for employees who would have been retained anyway’
The budget watchdog has warned that the Government’s £9billion bonus scheme for employers that bring staff back from furlough is ‘largely deadweight’.
As FTSE 100 firm Bunzl became the latest company to turn down the £1,000 per worker bonus, the Office for Budget Responsibility said the scheme ‘is likely to be claimed for employees who would have been retained anyway’.
The OBR said it was likely to cost less than £9.4billion amid warnings that 10 per cent to 20 per cent of the 9.4m workers on furlough would not keep their jobs. It put the cost of the scheme at £6.1billion.
Bunzl, the £7billion disposable cutlery and plastic bag specialist, has followed firms such as Primark, John Lewis and William Hill in not taking cash.
Builders Taylor Wimpey, Barratt and Redrow will not claim payouts, after politicians called for cash to be handed back if possible.
Tata Steel, part of an empire controlled by one of India’s richest families, intends to apply.
Food outlet Pret a Manger, said it was ‘reviewing the generous funding’ while Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn, travel firm Tui, Betfred and WH Smith said they had not yet made a decision whether to accept the money.