Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hinted that the successful August l Eat Out To Help out scheme could make a return in the New Year to ‘get consumers spending again’ after England’s second lockdown ends.
Speaking this morning the Chancellor said there would be more measures to try and get people out and about again after the positive news that the UK economy grew a massive 15.5 per cent after the first lockdown.
But the economy stayed 9.7 per cent smaller than it was at the end of last year and as new restrictions shuttered up shops and forced pubs to close, it is on track to shrink even more.
The Eat Out to Help Out discount dining deal meant the public could get up to 50 per cent off meals, up to £10 per person, Monday through Wednesday in August.
The scheme which saw over 100 million meals sold in August is credited with getting the economy rolling again as people rushed to restaurants, pubs and cafes.
And when asked if another Eat Out to Help Out could be rolled out to boost businesses after the latest shut down, the Chancellor said he would be looking at economic measures to get people spending again.
Speaking to Sky News this morning, Mr 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.”
While some critics have hit out at the cost of the scheme which was an estimated £500 million, over £250 million was returned to the Treasury in taxes during the scheme.