Call for Brits to get £150 Shop out to Help Out vouchers to save high street

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There are calls for Brits to get £150 "Shop Out to Help Out" vouchers to save the high street after lockdown ends.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been urged to include the £9bn scheme in his budget next week.

Every child would also be given £75 under the proposals by the Resolution Foundation think tank, the Mirror reports.

A report released by the organisation on Wednesday urged the Chancellor to pump £30billion into business bailouts, furlough and a Shop Out to Help Out voucher scheme to aid the high street.

It said the voucher scheme should be part of a £70bn programme later in the year and that the current rate of Universal Credit – raised by £20 a week during the pandemic – should be made permanent.

Officials told the Mirror it was unlikely the Chancellor would implement the voucher scheme any time soon.

They reckoned it would make no sense to announce such a scheme months in advance because it would change people's spending behaviour.

But treasury officials are reportedly looking at a dramatic recovery package later in the year – which could include vouchers as well as lower alcohol duty for pubs and restaurants battered by lockdown.

The Chancellor is thought to be planning a Budget with four themes, "support, recovery, vision and honesty", which looks set to introduce some tax rises to start paying for the pandemic.

Support schemes such as furlough and the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift also look set to be extended temporarily.

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The think tank's report, 'How to throw good money after good', suggests ways to top up the £280bn already committed to Covid to help the British economy recover.

It argues: "These vouchers could be spent in physical non-food retail, where there is more likelihood that consumption is likely to re-bound more slowly than in other services such as pubs and restaurants.

"This is likely to be the case, with more survey respondents reporting plans to increase their spending on restaurants and pubs after the pandemic than decrease spending.

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"But roughly equal proportions of respondents suggesting they would increase or decrease their spending on clothes and other retail.

"This temporary voucher scheme would slow but not halt the longer-term trend towards online retail."

  • Money
  • Pubs
  • Lockdown
  • Coronavirus

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