Could I get a £500 voucher from Rishi Sunak to spend in shops?
RISHI Sunak is being urged to encourage Brits to hit the shops following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
With many businesses badly hit by the coronavirus crisis, the Chancellor is being asked to consider giving away spending vouchers to help jumpstart the economy.
Is Rishi Sunak giving households £500 to spend in shops?
Rishi Sunak is being asked to give adults £500 and children £200 in vouchers to spend in shops badly hit by the coronavirus lockdown.
This would be targeted at farms that have been hit the hardest, and is among proposals drawn up by the Resolution Foundation think tank to support struggling firms.
The think tank claims the scheme can help stimulate shopping in stores, rather than online sales which have boomed during the pandemic.
Simple cash transfers risk being saved by higher income households who may have already saved money on travel and leisure in the past three months.
The money could be distributed through vouchers or smart cards, with payments done through mobile phones.
The Observer reports that Brits would also be given a one-year time limit for spending the money, which could cost the Treasury nearly £30billion.
The Treasury has yet to officially say if it'll run the scheme, or when it would come into force if given the green light.
What could the money be spent on?
The Treasury is being asked to help the sectors hit hardest by the crisis.
These include hospitality and "face to face" retail – which have just reopened following months of lockdown.
Similar schemes have seen success in Taiwan, China and Malta and helped to jumpstart consumption spending during the reopening phase.
Mr Sunak is expected to announce a number of new measures after Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday afternoon as part of a "mini-budget".
What else is Rishi Sunak expected to announce?
The Chancellor is expected to introduce a range of policies in his Autumn budget, as the Treasury seeks to restart the economy after months of lockdown.
Measures being discussed include a cut on VAT for pubs and restaurants to help protect jobs in the hard-hit hospitality industry.
Plans are also being discussed for new apprenticeship schemes, whereby companies could be given £1,000 to take on trainees.
The Treasury is also expected to invest £100 million in traineeships for young people.
The government has also announced a £1.4bn package for the arts industry, which will help to save theatres and live music venues which remain closed to curb the spread of the virus.
Restaurants, pubs and cafes reopened on July 4 as part of 'Super Saturday', and
But there are fears that, without drastic intervention, many jobs could be lost in the coming months – with the Chancellor aiming to stop young people bearing the brunt of lockdown.
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