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Restaurants urge government to repeat Eat Out to Help Out scheme

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Takeaway firm Deliveroo and 300 restaurant groups are urging the government to run Eat Out to Help Out again when restaurants are finally allowed to reopen.

 They believe the scheme, which gave a 50% discount off the cost of some meals in August, would boost demand for struggling businesses in the hospitality sector.

In a letter to the prime minister, Deliveroo and its restaurant partners pointed out that with all restaurant businesses closed, many were “under immense financial pressure.” Withdrawing support too early or too suddenly would risk viable businesses failing just as there was clearer light at the end of the tunnel, they argued. The letter said the Eat Out to Help Out scheme had helped restaurants survive n 2020 and should be run again “when it is safe to do so.”

Other support measures called for include: extending the 5% VAT rate on restaurant food until at least the end of 2021; extending business rates relief for the retail and restaurant sectors for a further financial year; maintaining the furlough scheme as long as is necessary; supporting businesses to manage their rental arrears, and prioritizing hospitality staff for small-site rapid testing and vaccination.