Another Eat Out to Help Out scheme could be launched this winter

16 September 2020, 07:10 | Updated: 16 September 2020, 08:40

The Eat Out To Help Out scheme could return
The Eat Out To Help Out scheme could return. Picture: PA Images

There have been calls for another Eat Out To Help Out scheme to be launched over winter.

Last month millions of us flocked to restaurants and cafes around the country to get our hands on a cheap dinner.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme offered customers 50% off their meal up to £10 on Mondays to Wednesday.

But after Brits claimed more than 100million discounted meals, now a government minister has confirmed a winter version of the discount is being kept ‘under review’ by the Treasury in a bid to save the hospitality sector.

MP Steve Double addressed the Commons yesterday, saying: "August has been incredibly busy in Cornwall but we do face a big challenge as we head into winter for the hospitality sector.

There have been calls to extend Eat Out To Help Out
There have been calls to extend Eat Out To Help Out. Picture: PA Images

"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?"

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Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman replied: "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."

This comes after 80% of hospitality businesses were forced to stop trading during April’s lockdown, with 1.4million workers put on furlough.

In August, 84,700 restaurants signed up for Eat Out to Help Out, reportedly making 130,000 claims worth at least £522m.

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Over the bank holiday, reservations on booking website OpenTable rose by 216% on the same day last year.

As the scheme came to an end, Mr Sunak called it a huge success for the economy.

From the get-go our mission has been to protect jobs, and to do this we needed to be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before,” he 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."

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