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Rishi Sunak has been urged to introduce a 'Shop Out To Help Out' voucher to support the high street.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is set to lay out the budget next week, and think tank the Resolution Foundation says it believes a voucher scheme would give a boost to the economy as we look to come out of lockdown.
The group says it's vital Mr Sunak pumps billions more into the economy to help those who have been out of work because of the pandemic or had to severely limit their businesses.
And it proposes a £9 billion ($12bn) voucher scheme would be one of numerous measures needed.
Research director James Smith said: "The Chancellor is approaching his second Budget at a pivotal moment for the economy, with the country likely to emerge out of the biggest economic downturn in over three centuries in the coming months.
"But while in the US debate has focused on President Biden's £1.9 trillion stimulus plan, the UK debate has got stuck on how to withdraw support.
"Instead, the Chancellor should combine extending existing support with fresh stimulus once restrictions are lifted to deliver a £100 billion plan to boost Britain's recovery.
"That is the scale of ambition needed to increase the chances that Britain sees a strong recovery from its pandemic-induced slump, and to ensure the recovery reaches firms and families across the UK."
The Eat Out To Help Out scheme ran following the first national lockdown last year, with people encouraged to dine at their local restaurants, with the government picking up some of the bill.
These latest calls for a retail-led scheme, which gained support among businesses last year, come after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the government's plan to end lockdown once and for all.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said pubs will open on 17 May at the earliest, with international travel also allowed on this date if all goes to plan.
And neither pubs nor restaurants will require that a substantial meal be served alongside alcoholic drinks.
There will also be no curfew.
Step One will begin from 8 March, when schools will open and people will be able to meet outdoors recreationally with one person from another household.
From 29 March, the rule of six will apply outdoors between two households and outdoor sport will return.
Step Two will commence from 12 April at the earliest, at which point outdoor hospitality, gyms, libraries, all retail, and outdoor attractions can reopen.
Step Three will begin no earlier than 17 May and will allow groups of up to 30 to meet outdoors, cinemas to reopen and organised indoor sport to recommence. International travel will also be allowed.
Step Four will begin no earlier than 21 June, at which point there will be no legal limits on social contact, enabling nightclubs to reopen and large events to go ahead.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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