Local MP Chris Skidmore has welcomed the news that a total of 40,000 meals were claimed in Kingswood under the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, as shown in new statistics available this month.
More than 100 million meals were claimed across the UK under the scheme, which ran throughout August, with a total of 773,000 meals claimed in the local wider region of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire.
A total of 84,700 eateries signed up across the country, including 43 registered restaurants in Kingswood, and 6,671 across the South West. Overall, £ 253,000 was claimed in discount across the local area, with a £6.33 average discount per meal, which has enabled many local residents to support the local economy at this difficult time.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hailed the success of the scheme, which was designed to support the hospitality industry – so crucial in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and the wider South West – after a challenging few months because of coronavirus.
The scheme is credited with protecting 1.8 million jobs across the country, with restaurant bookings significantly up on the previous year. Data from OpenTable shows bookings increased by an average of 52% on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the whole of August, compared to the same days in 2019.
Eat Out to Help Out was just one part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, an ambitious £30billion strategy to create, protect and support jobs as the country bounces back from coronavirus. The government will continue to support the hospitality industry with a temporary discount to VAT, from 20% to 5%, until 12 January 2021.
Chris Skidmore MP said of the news: “I am delighted to hear of the level of support local residents in our constituency have provided to our brilliant restaurants and hospitality businesses. The Eat Out to Help Out scheme was always about far more than just giving people money off their meals – it was about protecting jobs and supporting the local economy and businesses which have struggled through the Coronavirus pandemic.”
“I was glad to see Kingswood residents responding so well to this initiative to support our local area and I hope local people will continue to support businesses and restaurants safely in the months ahead.”
The Chancellor said: “From the get-go our mission has been to protect jobs, and to do this we needed to be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before.
“Today’s figures continue to show Eat Out to Help Out has been a success. I want to thank everyone, from restaurant owners to waiters, chefs and diners, for embracing it and helping drive our economic recovery.
“The scheme is just one part of our Plan for Jobs and we will continue to protect, support and create jobs to ensure we come back stronger as a nation.”