UK residents would be given a £150 voucher to spend in shops to boost post-lockdown high street spending, if a think tank’s idea went ahead.
Other ideas under the £9 billion scheme proposed by the Resolution Foundation include every child also being given £75.
However, it should be noted that there is very little chance the Chancellor will consider introducing the scheme anytime soon, with Rishi Sunak set to present his Budget to Parliament next Wednesday (3 Mar).
Other recovery ideas conceived
In the report, by the Resolution Foundation, one of the UK’s most influential think tanks, said the Government should announce spending measures with £100 billion as part of next week’s budget.
The Resolution Foundation said the Chancellor should extend Covid-19 support schemes until the end of lockdown, at a cost of £30 billion.
The organisation said the voucher scheme should be part of a £70 billion programme later in the year, which should include £27 billion for retraining and job support and £18 billion in green investment.
The current rate of Universal Credit, which was raised by £20 a week during the pandemic, should be kept permanent, the think tank also suggested
The report, titled ‘How to throw good money after good’, argues that the £150 vouchers for every adult coud “be spent in physical non-food retail, where there is more likelihood that consumption is likely to re-bound more slowly than in other services such as pubs and restaurants,” the think tank added.
“This is likely to be the case, with more survey respondents reporting plans to increase their spending on restaurants and pubs after the pandemic than decrease spending.
"But roughly equal proportions of respondents suggesting they would increase or decrease their spending on clothes and other retail.
"This temporary voucher scheme would slow but not halt the longer-term trend towards online retail."
Dramatic recovery package
Despite these suggestions not being considered by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, reports from the Times, say Treasury officials are looking at a dramatic recovery package later this year.
Measures being considered include lowering alcohol duty for pubs, and extending stamp duty holiday until the end of June.
The stamp duty policy covers the sale of property worth up to £500,000, and would cost around £1 billion to implement.