// Chancellor Rishi Sunak could hand every adult £500 in vouchers to help sectors affected by the Covid-19 crisis
// Plan was drawn up by independent think tank Resolution Foundation to boost UK economy
Plans to give all UK adults £500 and children £250 in vouchers to spend in sectors of the economy worst hit by the Covid-19 crisis are reportedly being considered by the Treasury.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak could hand every adult £500 in vouchers under proposals to help sectors such as retail and hospitality that have been worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to boost the UK economy, The Guardian reported.
The plan has been drawn up by independent British think tank Resolution Foundation, which has already held talks with the Treasury about its ideas.
- Over 24,000 jobs scrapped due to retail administrations
- Tesco chair John Allan to help boost UK’s post-Covid economy
The move would be designed to kickstart a financial recovery by initiating a targeted surge in consumer spending.
As a result, the vouchers could not be spent online, but in physical retail stores and hospitality operators such as cafes, restaurants and bars.
Sunak is poised to deliver a “summer update” on the state of the UK economy on Wednesday and the Treasury has refused to rule out the introduction of a voucher scheme ahead of that address.
The Resolution Foundation said the idea would cost the government around £30bn, but insisted it would prove more effective than a VAT cut or cash gifts to households, both of which are also understood to be under consideration.
The vouchers would expire after one year and the scheme could also be closed down if there was a second wave of Covid-19.
The pandemic has majorly affected the retail sector, with 24,348 jobs already lost across insolvent UK retailers in the first half of 2020, the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) recently revealed.
At least 31,628 retail jobs are currently at risk of being scrapped, with many retailers expected to shutter stores later in the year.
High street retailers including as Laura Ashley, Debenhams, Monsoon Accessorize, Cath Kidston, Quiz and Victoria’s Secret’s UK arm have all entered insolvency after being forced to shut their doors in March due to lockdown.