Almost three-quarters of a million businesses of UK ‘at risk of failure over next three months’, economists warn

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Almost three-quarters of a million businesses in the UK are “at risk of failure over the next three months” because of the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, economists have warned.

The figure has prompted Labour calls for the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to ease the pressure by allowing bosses to convert government loans to a “student-style” arrangement that would give them more time to repay.

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Firms are being dragged down by more than £75bn of Covid debt from the government’s bounce-back loan scheme and similar initiatives, Labour said.

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But the Treasury watchdog has estimated that £27.2bn of these liabilities will never be repaid – inflicting a huge cost on the taxpayer, on top of the loss of jobs and livelihoods.


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