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

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.

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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