Tony and Cherie Blair claimed almost £80,000 from the furlough scheme despite their huge wealth.
The names of the former prime minister and his wife – rather than any specific business – appear on an updated list of beneficiaries of the taxpayer-funded programme.
Set up in March 2020 to protect jobs during the pandemic, it was phased out last September after 940,000 individuals and businesses had claimed.
A spokesman for the Blairs said they had taken £76,000 to cover wages of staff at Lady Blair’s law firm. Money was paid to them every month the scheme operated.
All businesses and individuals, whatever their financial situation, were entitled to claim the payouts to cover the wages of furloughed staff.
However, thousands of organisations have since said they will pay back at least some of the money after faring better than expected through the pandemic.
Wealthy individuals to be criticised over the payouts include Victoria Beckham. She reportedly reversed a decision to furlough 30 staff at her fashion label after her decision to apply for public money caused uproar.
But the Blairs are not thought to have returned the £76,000 despite his wealth alone being estimated at anything up to £50million.
The controversy comes just as the number of people demanding that he be stripped of his knighthood passed one million.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, or furlough scheme, was set up at the start of the Covid crisis so that employers could cover 80 per cent of the wages of staff who could not work because of the shutdown.