Rishi Sunak, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, addressed the prospect of the ‘worst recession in living memory’ by outlining his plans in a ‘mini summer budget’ today.
Sunak declared that had was taking “decisive action to protect the economy” before reading out a list of those actions, including £10 off meals at participating outlets, money which will be directly refunded to those outlets by the tax payer.
The provision, which will be called ‘eat out to help out’, came under criticism this afternoon for its extravagant five word slogan which many feel will confuse the electorate.
A government spokesman said, “we’re concerned about this eat out to help out thing. The British public are not used to walls of text like this. Sunak should have gone with ‘binge to boost’ or ‘ingest to incentivize’ or something like that.”
In the last two months the British economy has shrivelled by 25%, the same amount it grew in the previous 18 years. The Bank of England have predicted significant job losses on top of those jobs already lost as a result of the crisis and the IMF is warning of the ‘deepest global recession since records began’.
Sunak described a three phase plan in a bid to ‘fight and recover after Coronavirus’, but experts suggest the crisis is far from over, that the government have already risked a second spike in infections by easing lock down too early.
Political commentator Dave Halpin said, “implementing an economic recovery plan now, instead of focusing on track and trace, transparent publication of daily infection figures and honest reporting about rising R-values in a number of locations across the country – including the capital – is disingenuous.”
“Throwing out catchy titles like ‘Kickstarter Scheme’ or ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ is just what you’d expect from the Tory machine right now. A sensible and less political approach? No. Slogans and carrots-on-sticks. That’s the answer.”
“This is feel-good rhetoric, appealing to those who still believe the government is doing a good job and frustrating to everyone else. It does nothing to address the fact that the crisis is ongoing.”
“If medical and scientific experts are to be believed (and why the Hell should we not believe these qualified and experienced people?) we’re nowhere near ‘out of the woods’ and we’re certainly not yet in a position to start chanting a ‘rebuild, rebuild, rebuild’ mantra while waving tiny Union Jacks.”
The Chancellor today signalled that furlough schemes, which have been crucial in retaining jobs during the crisis, would end in October. He described a new scheme encouraging big businesses to keep furloughed workers on until at least January by providing those businesses with a large incentive payout.
Halpin said, “who could have guessed that the Tories would give away billions in taxpayer money to big business then dress it up as a rescue package for the common man in the street? Meanwhile, the common man in the street can look forward to at least staying employed over Christmas and a cheaper chicken korma.”