How Britain’s Covid support for big business entrenched inequality

Gary Jonas Fooks, Tom Mills, Killian Mullan, Jennifer Willmott

Research output: Other contributionBlog Post


It can be difficult to appreciate the scale of public funding utilised to support the UK economy during the pandemic. The numbers rung up by the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility, which ultimately financed government programmes such as the furlough scheme, peaked at £895bn towards the end of 2021. This is equivalent to six years of NHS England resource spending.

Not all of this went directly to businesses. Nonetheless, Treasury support represented an unprecedented peacetime transfer of capital from the public to the private sector. The vexed question of how this cash passed through the economy – who came out ahead and who lost out – is one that we have been trying to answer during 18 months of in-depth research. In the first instance, we focused on trends in executive pay, dividends to shareholders, and differences in pay between company bosses and ordinary employees.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2023

Bibliographical note

This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence. If you have any queries about republishing please contact us. Please check individual images for licensing details.


  • Income Inequalities
  • Well Inequalities
  • Corporate Welfare
  • Executive Pay


Dive into the research topics of 'How Britain’s Covid support for big business entrenched inequality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this