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Britain’s government said on Thursday that it has paid almost £40-billion ($50 billion) in energy subsidies since it began to help households and businesses cope with the surge in power bills after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Between the launch of the schemes in October and March, nearly £21-billion was spent on the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) program that supports households with their bills, the government said.

A further £12-billion was paid under the Energy Bills Support Scheme, which offered homes payments of £400 towards their bills over the winter months.

Businesses and other organizations received about £5.5-billion under the Energy Bill Relief Scheme and almost £1-billion was spent on other programmes, the business ministry said.

The cost of the subsidies has helped to swell Britain’s public borrowing since they were launched last October.

The Office for National Statistics has put the cost at £41.2-billion in the financial year ending in March.

The EPG subsidies for households are due to end in July as regulated prices fall below the level of the cap. Support for businesses is scheduled to run until March 2024.

The energy ministry said the some of the funding for the energy subsidies would come from a so-called windfall tax on energy producers which was expected to raise almost £26-billion by March 2028.

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