politics

Nearly two thirds of bounce-back Covid loans will NEVER be paid, MPs fear


NEARLY two thirds of bounce-back Covid loans will never be paid back, MPs fear.

The scale of fraud and bankruptcy could cost the Treasury ÂŁ27billion.

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Nearly two thirds of bounce-back Covid loans will never be paid back, MPs fear
Nearly two thirds of bounce-back Covid loans will never be paid back, MPs fearCredit: Alamy

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme was rushed out to allow small businesses quick access to cash.

But tomorrow the Public Accounts Committee of MPs will say it was rolled out at pace — leading to a “significantly increased” risk of fraud.

They will say the Treasury was “reliant on banks that it admits lack incentives given it is not their money on the line”.

Between 35 per cent and 60 per cent — up to £27billion of loans — may now never be repaid

Committee chair Dame Meg Hillier said: “Fraud is never acceptable.”

However, 55,000 fraudulent bids for ÂŁ2billion in loans are estimated to have been spotted in time and thrown out.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme was rushed out to allow small businesses quick access to cash
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme was rushed out to allow small businesses quick access to cash

But Universal Credit fraud rose to an all-time high of ÂŁ5.5billion last year as Brits signed on.

A further 20,479 new virus cases were reported yesterday for the latest 24 hours. There were also 23 deaths, bringing the toll to 128,126.

In total, 44,581,771 first vaccine doses have been dished out and 32,721,762 second doses.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces extensions to Pay as you Grow and other coronavirus loans as well as business VAT and tax payments





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