May 12, 2020 / 4:09 PM / 24 days ago

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

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks during a daily news conference on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain April 20, 2020. Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (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.

Writing by William Schomberg, Editing by Kylie MacLellan

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