The past few months of the pandemic have been one of the most extraordinary economic challenges we have ever faced as a country.
Covid-19 posed difficulties completely different to a recession. In order to protect workers and ease the burden on the NHS, perfectly healthy businesses were asked to close their doors.
Fortunately, the Government had the might of the Treasury at its disposal. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, has overseen an extraordinary intervention to keep Britain on track.
Across the West Midlands, 697,100 people were furloughed, with the Government paying 80 per cent of their wages to let them stay at home whilst we urgently built up extra Health Service capacity. This includes 11,900 people here in Solihull.
Another 2,800 Silhillians were helped by the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which topped up the incomes of freelancers whose work dried up due to Covid-19. Across the whole region the number was 185,000.
On top of this, the Chancellor has delivered pay rises for the millions of key workers who have stepped up to keep essential services going over the past few months. Extra money for the NHS was followed last week by an announcement covering teachers, soldiers, police officers, and many more.
Now we face a new challenge: getting life going again, and the economy moving again, in a way which continues to protect the NHS and the vulnerable from the virus.
That’s why the Government has announced the new Eat Out to Help Out Scheme – making it a little easier for all of us to support some of our favourite restaurants.
On every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from August 3 to August 31, thousands of eateries will be offering a 50 per cent discount, worth up to £10 per diner. That’s a half-price meal out for you and your friends or family.
Business owners will be able to claim back the rest of the money from the Treasury, making sure they don’t lose out.
Covid-19 has hit hospitality extremely hard, and many workers have a little less in their pockets than usual too. This scheme is a great excuse to eat out – so don’t miss out!