A wealth of new measures to get the economy back on track, help those on furlough and more was announced today in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s summer budget. Among those was a scheme which has never-before been trialled in the UK – offering discounts on restaurant food for every single person across the nation.
Restaurants, cafes and pubs have been severely affected by the coronavirus lockdown, with many staff placed on the Government’s furlough scheme.
The Chancellor, in what amounts to a mini-budget, told MPs the Government will do “all we can” to keep people in work.
Mr Sunak’s statement comes after warnings from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that the UK’s unemployment rate could soar to 14.8 percent, with job losses comparable to the 1930s.
The budget included incentives for employers to retain staff, schemes to get people into work and a huge boost for the hospitality industry.
How does scheme work? How to get YOUR discount
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced measures to help get customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs.
He told the Commons: “I can announce today that, for the month of August, we will give everyone in the country an ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ discount.
“Meals eaten at any participating business, Monday to Wednesday, will be 50 percent off, up to a maximum discount of £10 per head for everyone, including children.
“Businesses will need to register, and can do so through a simple website, open next Monday.
“Each week in August, businesses can then claim the money back, with the funds in their bank account within five working days.”
As a customer you do not need to do anything to claim your discount, it will be automatically applied to your meal so long as the venue has signed up to the Government’s scheme.
All you need to do is visit participating restaurants, bars, pubs or cafes in August on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
In further measures to help the hospitality industry he told MPs: “At the moment, VAT on hospitality and tourism is charged at 20 percent.
“So I’ve decided, for the next six months, to cut VAT on food, accommodation and attractions.”
Mr Sunak said VAT will be reduced from 20 percent to five percent from July 15 until January 12 to help.
The Chancellor said: “This is a £4 billion catalyst for the hospitality and tourism sectors, benefiting over 150,000 businesses, and consumers everywhere – all helping to protect 2.4 million jobs.”
However, the temporary VAT cut for the hospitality sector does not include alcoholic drinks, the Treasury’s “plan for jobs” document says.