Firms face ruin once £71bn loan repayments start, says Labour

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Rishi Sunak is warned he will crush companies if he insists on calling in all bounce-back loans from March

Labour is urging the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to ease the burden of Covid-related debt on business, warning that hundreds of thousands of firms could go to the wall unless the government acts.

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The shadow chancellor, Anneliese Dodds, said companies were facing the prospect from next month of having to start paying back £71bn in government-backed loans intended to nurse them through the pandemic.

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