BRITS will be disappointed to hear that a £500 shopping voucher scheme was never planned as part of yesterday’s Budget – despite support on various quarters.
The scheme was initially suggested by the Resolution foundation, an independent think-tank focused on improving the living standards for those on low to middle incomes.
Many families hoped that it would be considered by the Chancellor.
The idea was that the Treasury could help sectors hit hardest by the crisis including hospitality and “face to face” retail.
But Rishi Sunak never planned to include the proposal in his bumper boost for jobs.
Gail Cohen, director general of the Gift Card & Voucher Association, slammed the decision not to offer shopping vouchers.
She said: “The disappointing omission of any notable announcements to protect high street retail businesses, such as the previously-mooted £500 voucher scheme, is a missed opportunity to show support for businesses that have had to contend with unprecedented challenges over the past few months.
“There is little doubt that many companies now need a major boost if they are to stay afloat amidst current and future turbulence.”
While the shopping vouchers did not make an appearance in the mimi-budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak did announce an Eat Out to Dine In scheme to support restaurants.
Brits who dine out Monday to Wednesday in August will only have to pay for 50 per cent of the tab, the Chancellor Sunak announced.
This scheme sat alongside a whole raft of measures to help businesses.
These include a cut on VAT for pubs and restaurants to help protect jobs and plans for a new apprenticeship scheme.
Recently, the government also unveiled a £1.4billion recovery package for the arts industry.
This is designed to help save theatres and live music venues which are still on lockdown because of coronavirus.
Home buyers will also benefit from a stamp duty holiday in a bid to inject life into the housing market during the coronavirus crisis.
Almost half of businesses with furloughed workers expect to cut some staff when scheme ends.
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