A scheme like the Government’s popular Eat Out to Help Out could return this winter to “get consumers spending”.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he is looking into plans for when the current coronavirus restrictions end after figures showed that, despite record growth, the UK’s economy hasn’t recovered as well from coronavirus restrictions as the US, Italy, Spain, France or Germany.
With a second lockdown now underway in England, a two-week ‘fire break’ now completed in Wales and strict restrictions in Scotland, things are expected to get worse before they get better.
This means that the Chancellor is looking for ways to get things up and running again once restrictions end, and this could include the return of the Eat Out to Help Out, reports the Mirror.
Speaking to Sky News, Rishi Sunak said: “We’ll talk about specific measures, but more broadly I think it’s right when we finally exit this (lockdown) and hopefully next year with testing and vaccines, we’ll be able to start to look forward to getting back to normal.
“We’ll have to look forward to the economic situation then and see what the best form of our support.
“We want to get consumers spending again, get them out and about, we’ll look at a range of things to see what the right interventions are at that time.”
The Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which ran throughout August, saw people returning to restaurants and bars after restrictions lifted.
According to Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report, the scheme was responsible for the biggest yearly increase in non-essential spending since July 2019.
It also meant non-essential spend was 4% higher than the year before – the first annual increase since lockdown.
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The increase went well beyond just food and drink, with people heading back into town also spending on the high street and in places like cinemas.
Back in September, Gabby Collins, Lloyds Bank head of payments, said: “The Eat Out to Help Out scheme not only had a positive impact on restaurants and pubs in August and into September, but we’ve seen a real boost in high-street spending, which is now almost back up to pre lockdown levels.”