// VAT could be slashed to help get Brits spending again and boost the economy
// The chancellor is is considering either a blanket or a targeted reduction in consumption taxes
According to The Times, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is looking at reducing consumption taxes to help boost struggling retailers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now calling for shoppers to return to shops as ministers watch today’s reopening to see if faltering consumer confidence would require emergency VAT cuts.
The PM appeared in public for the first time since the pandemic struck the nation to say people should shop with confidence to help boost the economy.
The Times stated that the Chancellor was considering either a blanket or a targeted reduction in consumption taxes as retailers demand an emergency stimulus.
They have warned a combination of nervous shoppers and the strict two-metre social distancing rules mean that the effect of reopening non-essential retail will be limited and businesses are still in danger of going bust.
Johnson raised the possibility of the two-metre rule being relaxed by setting up a review looking at its effect on both the economy and public health.
He said that falling infections gave “more margin for manoeuvre” but no date has been set, with the majority voters still strongly against any change.
Ministers have insisted that Downing Street would not rush to a premature decision on reducing the distance.