Another Eat Out To Help Out Scheme Could Be Launched This Winter, Government Minister Says
Over the summer, Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Eat Out To Help Out scheme saw thousands of Brits support their local restaurants, pubs and cafés - and it's possible the same could happen this winter, too.
Hungry diners have claimed over 100 million discounted meals to date, taking advantage of the 50 per cent discount up to £10 from their meals from Monday through to Wednesday.
Now, a winter version of the discount deal is 'under review' by the Treasury, a government minister has confirmed.
Speaking to the House of Commons yesterday, MP Steve Double said: "August has been incredibly busy in Cornwall but we do face a big challenge as we head into winter for the hospitality sector.
"So could I ask [Sunak] if he would consider a similar sort of scheme to be run at some point during the winter to help as many businesses as possible survive the winter and be here for next summer?"
In reply, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman said: "I would say that there is this wider package... of course the Treasury keeps all these measures under review...
"But it is a pretty formidable combination of VAT reduction, business rates relief and of course billions in tax deferrals and loans," he added.
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Mr Sunak said the scheme - which was launched in a bid to save the hospitality sector following the country's national lockdown - had helped to "drive our economic recovery".
A whopping 84,700 restaurants signed up for the scheme, resulting in claims worth a reported £522m.
Talking about the scheme, Mr Sunak said: "I want to thank everyone, from restaurant owners to waiters, chefs and diners, for embracing it and helping drive our economic recovery.
"The scheme is just one part of our plan for jobs and we will continue to protect, support and create jobs to ensure we come back stronger as a nation."
Whether we see the scheme extended through winter will likely hinge on 'R' rates of infection across the country and numbers of new coronavirus cases, along with factors like VAT reduction and business rates relief.
As always, we'll update you as soon as we hear more.
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