How £500 high street voucher scheme could work – and who could spend it – Wales Online - Freelance Rack

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How £500 high street voucher scheme could work – and who could spend it – Wales Online

The Chancellor is said to be considering giving out vouchers to boost struggling high streets – but how would it work?

Many business owners have been left worried about the future, but the new proposals could give shops a boost after lockdown.

The Resolution Foundation said the £30billion scheme could save hundreds of thousands of jobs amid a looming recession, Mirror Online reports.

It would be a one-off, non-refundable £500 – as opposed to several monthly payments.

It suggested the idea ahead of Wednesday’s Budget.

Here’s how it could work – and who would benefit:

Why vouchers instead of cash?

The Resolution Foundation’s report says: “The voucher scheme can target the parts of the economy where the problems are – bricks and mortar consumption in shops and restaurants, rather than online sales – and recognises the different impact of the crisis on poor and rich families.”

It said the money would be delivered as vouchers, instead of cash, to encourage people to ‘spend not save’.

“The Foundation says cash transfers risk being simply being saved by higher income households, who are already boosting their balance sheets through ’enforced savings’,

Similar schemes have been introduced in China, Taiwan and Malta to help rebuild their economies.

Who would be given a voucher?

The Resolution Foundations says the vouchers would equate to £500 an adult and £250 a child, if introduced in the UK.

Households would then be given a time limit to spend them – such as 12 months.

They would also have to be spent on the high street – as opposed to online.

James Smith, at the Resolution Foundation, said: “As well as setting out the biggest ever peacetime job support programme, the Chancellor should get Britain spending in places where it’s needed most.

“A universal ‘High Street Voucher’ scheme – worth £500 per adult and £250 per child – to be spent only in these sectors would kickstart demand in the right parts of our economy, boost living standards and deliver targeted support to the businesses that need help the most.

“The Chancellor has already shown that big, bold measures like the Job Retention Scheme are welcome and necessary in the current economic climate. He should take this same approach as we enter the crucial recovery phase of the crisis.”

What has the government said?

A Treasury spokesman said Rishi Sunak will unveil new measures to protect the economy on Wednesday.

He said: “The Chancellor will make a summer economic update next week, outlining the next stage in our plan to secure Britain’s recovery.”



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