To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of whether companies have paid dividends while in receipt of the Government's covid-19 support packages.
Government support is aimed at businesses in genuine need. Our current measures are well-targeted at such businesses, bearing in mind the need to act very quickly to deliver this unprecedented package. We expect everyone to act responsibly and in the spirit of the package, and only claim and use support as intended. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for example provides compensation for the cost of paying furloughed workers –money that goes directly to the pockets of workers who might otherwise lose their jobs, whilst Business Rates reductions and Local Authority grant schemes are targeted at sectors which are facing severe hardship. The Government is keeping all measures under constant review.
Companies borrowing more than £50million through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or accessing the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) beyond 19 May 2021, face restrictions on dividend payments, capital distributions and senior pay.