© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians walk past the HM Revenue & Customs building in Whitehall, central London December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

(Reuters) – British companies have returned more than 1 billion pounds ($1.40 billion) of furlough cash as investors press managements to repay taxpayer funds taken during the COVID-19 pandemic before paying big bonuses, the Financial Times said on Thursday.

Companies have repaid 709 million pounds to HM Revenue & Customs that had been claimed under the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, the newspaper said, with a further 319 million returned as over claimed funds taken in error. 

The paper https://on.ft.com/3pZKW7g cited data obtained through a freedom of information (FOI) request. The amount is still far less than the total of 64 billion pounds Treasury spent up to May 14 under the furlough scheme.

($1=0.7144 pounds)

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