Jul 8, 2020 - World

British government to subsidize 50% off restaurant meals

A restaurant in London.
An outdoor restaurant in London on July 6, 2020. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The British government will give diners a 50% discount on their restaurant bills as part of an effort to jumpstart the country's economy after emerging from its coronavirus lockdown, the U.K. Treasury announced Wednesday.

The state of play: Under the "Eat Out to Help Out" plan, each patron will get up to £10, or $12.57, off their meal — not including alcoholic beverages — if they eat out between Monday and Wednesday at businesses that sign up for the program.

  • Bars and restaurants reopened in some portions of the country on Saturday after being shuttered for more than three months.
  • The U.K.'s accommodation and food industry has furloughed 1.4 million people since March, according to the Treasury, second only to retail.

By the numbers: The program will cost the government an estimated £500 milion, or about $629 million, according to Yahoo Finance.

  • The government estimates it will protect 1.8 million jobs, with about 130,000 businesses predicted to be eligible.
  • It also announced steep cuts to the value added tax for the food, hospitality, and attraction industries — from 20% to 5%.
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