- July 13, 2020
- Posted by: Stephen James
- Categories: Chancellor, Economics, Union Blue
At a time when businesses need support, the new Eat Out to Help Out scheme is a targeted investment in our hospitality sector, providing discounts of up to 50% to people eating out across the UK.
This radical, creative, first-of-its-kind scheme provides crucial support for key sectors of our economy which have had to shut down because of the severe effects of the coronavirus, particularly pubs, cafés and restaurants. And it will help provide the extra demand necessary to protect, retain, and create new jobs in the hospitality sector.
What is the Eat out to Help Out Scheme?
This Government’s new Eat Out to Help Out scheme gives people up to 50% off meals out, up to maximum of £10 per person, encouraging them back into restaurants, cafés and pubs. Anyone who eats at a participating business, Monday to Wednesday for the month of August, can receive up to 50% off.
Businesses can claim the money back from the government weekly, receiving funds within 5 working days. Guidance for businesses will be published next week.
How does the Scheme work?
Businesses who sign up to the Government’s scheme, open next week, will join a list of selected businesses where the 50% discount applies.
People who go to one of these selected restaurants, cafés or pubs will be entitled to a discount for food and non-alcoholic drinks for up to £10 per person.
This applies to adults and children. So a couple on a meal out can save up to £20. Or a family of four can save up to £40.
The refund will later be transferred into restaurants, cafes and pubs’ bank accounts within five working days. That means you won’t need to take a voucher code yourself – the discount applies simply by turning up and buying the meal.
The scheme only applies from Monday to Wednesday throughout the whole of August. So this discount won’t apply on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The discount also does not apply for alcohol, or for takeaway meals.
What other support are we providing to the hospitality sector?
This Government will not just introduce the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. We are also going to temporarily reduce VAT on hospitality, accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5%.
Specifically, eat-in or hot takeaway food from restaurants, cafés, pubs, accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, attractions like cinemas, theme parks, zoos, and more will see VAT drop from 20% to 5%, from now until January 12th.
This is a multi-billion pound catalyst for the hospitality and tourism sectors benefits hundreds of thousands of businesses, and consumers everywhere – while protecting 2.4 million jobs and realising the economic benefits of the reduced lockdown.
How does this fit into our wider economic plan?
Our economic response to coronavirus is going through three stages.
In the first phase, starting in March, our response was focussed on protecting lives and livelihoods. We ordered many businesses to close, to minimise the spread of the disease. And we provided £160bn in one of the largest and most comprehensive economic responses in the world to mitigate the economic impact on families and businesses across Britain. Our plan protected people’s jobs, incomes, and businesses.
Now, four months on, we are entering the second phase of our economic response. Now, our focus is on protecting, creating, and retaining jobs.
The global economy has slowed. Businesses have stopped trading and hiring. And household consumption has fallen steeply.
But if demand stays low, our pubs, restaurants and cafés that are at the heart of many of our local communities cannot survive. And we need to make sure businesses know that, if they reopen, there will be enough demand to stay open and stay in operation.
So, to boost household consumption, particularly in pubs, restaurants and cafés which have been among those businesses hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, we are implementing the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to help boost demand, and therefore make jobs more stable and give businesses the confidence they need to reopen. And as part of our wider plan for jobs, we will help kickstart the economy and create, support, and retain jobs across the United Kingdom.
Finally, there will later come a third stage where we will rebuild our economy. We will in the autumn produce a budget spending review and deal with the challenges facing our public finances at that time. In the medium and long term, we will then put our public finances back on a stable footing.