July 7, 2020 / 9:02 AM / a month ago

UK government coronavirus lending rises to £45 billion

FILE PHOTO: A notice is seen at The Practicioner pub after it reopened following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Hertford, Britain, July 4, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government has underwritten £45 billion of borrowing by businesses hit by the coronavirus and spent more than £27 billion 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 as of July 5 from £25.5 billion a week earlier.

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

Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Kate Holton

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