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Wage subsidy: More than $13 billion paid out

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The amount of money paid out under the government's wage subsidy scheme has topped $13 billion.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Social Development show that $1.9 billion of that has been paid under the extension to the scheme, which came into effect in early June.

More than 1.7 million jobs are being supported by the scheme, which comes to an end in September.

Nearly 10,500 recipients of the wage subsidy have paid the money back, totalling $323.6 million.

Meanwhile, there are now more than 18,500 people receiving the government's special Covid-19 income relief payment.

The 12-week payment is for people who have lost their jobs since March, because of the pandemic.

It pays $490 a week for people who are out of full-time work, and $250 a week for those who have lost part-time jobs.

Close to 17,000 of the people receiving the payment are getting the full-time rate.

At one point, the government had expected more than 300,000 people could end up needing the payment. But that figure has subsequently been revised down.

The number of people receiving the jobseeker benefit has stabilised at about 192,000.

However, this remains a big jump on the beginning of the year, when there were almost 147,000 people on the jobseeker benefit.

At the beginning of the year, 4.9 per cent of the working-age population was receiving the main unemployment benefit - that has now increased to 6.4 per cent.

Sarah Robson/RNZ

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