Rishi Sunak hints of return of Eat Out to Help Out in the New Year

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hinted that the successful Eat Out To Help out scheme could make a return in the New Year to 'get consumers spending again' after England's second lockdown ends.

Mr Sunak said this morning there would be further measures to get people 'out and about' in the hope of boosting the nation's ailing finances. 

This is despite the fact the Government has also been criticised for pushing a 'nanny state' plan to ban online junk food adverts, after the Eat Out to Help Out scheme effectively encouraged people to eat fast food.

One Tory MP said the 'incoherence' of the conflicting policies was 'the sort of thing that is creating problems' on the Conservative backbenches.    

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hinted that the successful Eat Out To Help out scheme could make a return to 'get consumers spending again' after England's second lockdown ends

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hinted that the successful Eat Out To Help out scheme could make a return to 'get consumers spending again' after England's second lockdown ends

Mr Sunak said this morning there would be further measures to get people 'out and about' in the hope of boosting the nation's ailing finances

Mr Sunak said this morning there would be further measures to get people 'out and about' in the hope of boosting the nation's ailing finances

The new lockdown, which came into force last Thursday, is set to come to an end on December 2. 

The Government's Eat Out to Help Out initiative ran from August 3 to 31, offering people a 50 per cent discount on meals up to £10 per person at participating restaurants, as ministers tried to get the hospitality industry back on its feet. 

Numerous fast food companies took part in the scheme and more than 100million discounted meals were enjoyed by Britons. 

'Eat Out to Help Out' was to blame for one in SIX coronavirus outbreaks 

Eat Out to Help Out played a 'significant' role in accelerating Britain's second wave of coronavirus, a study claimed.

There was a sharp increase in clusters of Covid-19 infections a week after the Government scheme began, according to University of Warwick researchers. 

They believe the initiative, which gave diners up to 50 per cent off meals out, was to blame for as many as 17 per cent of new infection clusters between August and early September - one in every six. 

The experts looked back at trends in infection rates before, during and after the scheme to work out how it affected the numbers of people testing positive. 

Although people had to socially distance in restaurants where the deal was offered, the virus is known to spread more easily indoors and thrives particularly in enclosed spaces.

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Mr Sunak was asked this morning if a new version of the scheme could be introduced to help food outlets after they were hammered again by the latest lockdown.

He told Sky News: 'We'll talk about specific measures, but more broadly I think it's right when we finally exit this (lockdown) and hopefully next year with testing and vaccines, we'll be able to start to look forward to getting back to normal.

'We'll have to look forward to the economic situation then and see what the best form of our support.

'We want to get consumers spending again, get them out and about, we'll look at a range of things to see what the right interventions are at that time.' 

However, the New Year is generally the time when Britons are struggling to shift extra weight put on over Christmas, raising questions about whether a new scheme could make it harder for people to lose unnecessary pounds. 

Mr Sunak's comments came after the Government was strongly criticised for its 'nanny state' plan to ban online junk food adverts, even though they had effectively encouraged people to eat fast food via Eat Out to Help Out. 

Conservative backbenchers said people should be able to 'assume responsibility for their own health' and said the proposals were 'incoherent'.  

Critics of the policy added that it had been 'designed by fanatics' and would have 'no impact on obesity'.  

The proposed online advertising ban would apply to food which is high in fat, sugar and salt.

The Department of Health and Social Care has launched a six week consultation on the plan to understand the potential impact of the measures. 

But there is a growing backlash because foods such as avocados, Marmite, mustard and hummus could all be affected, as well as meals like fish and chips, and curry. 

One Tory MP said: 'That is the sort of incoherence that is causing problems. 

'Also someone has to make a decision on what junk food actually is and I am not aware of anyone who has actually managed it. 

'I don't like nannying people. When George Osborne came up with the sugar tax that was bad enough and I think people should assume

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