As the deadly virus stopped millions of employees from going into work, the government announced a furlough scheme to allow employers to pay their staff 80 percent of their salary. According to The Sunday Times, at least 63 of their Rich Listers – a list of the richest people in the country – have furloughed staff.
This has sparked fury and demands the millionaires and billionaires “dip in their own pocket” rather than rely on a scheme funded by the UK taxpayer.
Carys Roberts, executive director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, argued against Rich Listers using the furlough scheme.
She said: “Some businesses receiving tax-payers’ help during the COVID crisis are owned by wealthy individuals, who for years have rewarded themselves generously while paying minimal UK tax.
“Why haven’t they invested more in economic good times to make their businesses more resilient against economic shocks?
“Why can’t they now dip into their own deep pockets instead of asking ordinary families to do so for them?”
According to the Sunday Times list, coronavirus has wiped up to £54bn from the wealthiest of people over the last two months, including at least 20 billionaires.
Around 2.5 million people have applied to receive Universal Credit from the government since lockdown began as the coronavirus outbreak made it unsafe for them to go to work.
Before the outbreak of the deadly virus, the 2020 Rich List was expected to show record wealth and more billionaires than in any of its previous 31 editions.
However, as the national and global economy crashed, there has already been a profound impact on the super-rich.
As fortunes plummet, Sir James Dyson reached the top spot for the first time.
The number of billionaires on the list has dropped by four to 147 as the combined wealth of the list is down by £29bn compared to last year.
COVID-19 has had an understandable effect on the aviation industry as countries close borders to prevent the spread of the virus.
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Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to allow people who are unable to work from home to start going back to work as lockdown measures ease.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently announced the furlough scheme has been extended to October but was reduced to 60 percent.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned Government borrowing could hit £298.4 billion by the end of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a Treasury document seen by The Daily Telegraph, the Mr Sunak is reportedly weighing up income tax rises, a two-year public sector pay freeze and the end of the triple lock on pensions.
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