The world is in a pretty rubbish place, isn’t it?
What with the deadly pandemic, systemic racism and, of course, the ongoing climate emergency, there’s definitely a lot of problems that don't seem to be getting much better.
But thank goodness Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has come along with some meal vouchers to distract us from the distressing news cycle.
Sunak has announced the new “Eat Out to Help Out” (minds out of the gutter, please) scheme, which will see households given vouchers to use when dining out.
Running through August on Mondays to Wednesdays, the vouchers will give households a 50 per cent reduction, of up to £10 per head, on sit-down meals and non-alcoholic drinks. So that “cheeky Nandos” or Subway meatball marinara just got a lot more appetising.
Everyone loves free food, that’s a given. But not everyone is overjoyed about this new scheme.
In fact, since it was announced, people have been pointing out some of the flaws with the scheme (besides it’s name, of course…)
Lots of people don’t think that the voucher scheme lives up to expectations.
There had been reports that the government was considering giving people a £500 voucher to spend as they wished in high street stores or restaurants. But that hasn’t happened…
Next up, people are remembering that, just a few weeks ago, the government had to be shamed into providing free lunches to disadvantaged kids over the summer holidays. This only came with a £120m price tag, compared to the £500m cost of this voucher scheme, so what changed?
Others say they don’t feel safe in restaurants and the government shouldn’t be encouraging people to share space with other households inside, which was described by its own expert Chris Whitty as “high risk”.
Some have also suggested that it feels hypocritical for the Tories to do this when they previously described ideas like free broadband as “communism” after they were proposed by the Labour Party.
And others think that, when food bank use has been skyrocketing for years, it feels a bit icky for the government to be forking out to keep restaurant chains afloat. They’d rather that money was spent elsewhere...
So there we have it: it's going to take a lot more than essentially paying us to eat Nando's to get some people to trust this government.