Chancellor Rishi Sunak is to cut VAT on hospitality as part of a £30bn plan to prevent mass unemployment as the economy is hit by coronavirus.
The government will also pay firms a £1,000 bonus for every staff member kept on for three months when the furlough scheme ends in October. And Mr Sunak announced a scheme to give 50% off to people dining out in August. The chancellor warned "hardship lies ahead", but vowed no-one will be left "without hope," in a statement to MPs.
Chancellor cuts VAT on food, accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5%
He told MPs he will cut VAT on food, accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5% from next Wednesday.
This cut will apply to eat-in or hot takeaway food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos.
Rishi Sunak said this "£4bn catalyst" would help protect "over 2.4 million jobs".
Mr Sunak also announced an "Eat Out to Help Out" discount, which he said would help protect 1.8 million jobs, at cost of £0.5bn. Meals eaten at any participating business, Monday to Wednesday, will be 50% off in August, up to a maximum discount of £10 per head for everyone, including children. Businesses will need to register, and can do so through a website, which will open next Monday.