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Wednesday evening news briefing: Diners to split the bill with Rishi Sunak to boost economy

Diners to split the bill with Sunak to boost economy

At a glance: How Rishi Sunak’s mini-Budget will affect you

It is time to “eat out, to help out”. Every Briton will be able to enjoy a meal at a restaurant for half price next month under the most eye-catching plan to boost the economy announced by the Chancellor today. Rishi Sunak’s mini-Budget will give everyone the chance to go Dutch with the Government from Monday to Wednesday, up to £10 per head, under a “creative” new scheme to try to save the hospitality sector, which has been hammered by the lockdown and social distancing. Participating restaurants will be reimbursed by the Government within five working days. Mr Sunak said the measure was designed to “get customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs and protect the 1.8 million people who work in them”. Anna Mikhailova has the details. In a further boost for the hospitality sector, the Chancellor also slashed VAT from 20pc to 5pc. This graph shows how the tax will be at its lowest since the 1970s.

The announcement left Labour’s shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds with the difficult job of scrutinising what is likely to be a series of popular policies. Tom Harris analyses how Rishi Sunak may end up driving Labour further Left into irrelevancy. Yet not everyone was happy. Economics Editor Russell Lynch analyses how the VAT cut and help for hospitality avoided the elephant in the roomJohn Longworth thinks Mr Sunak entirely missed out the small businesses that will drive our recovery and Caroline Nokes argues why the Chancellor needs to respect the contribution of the unmentioned beauty sector.

Firms’ £1,000 bonus to bring back furloughed staff

There was much in the mini-Budget for businesses, with bosses told their company will receive a £1,000 bonus if they take back furloughed workers and keep them employed into 2021. With nine million jobs furloughed over recent months, this means up to £9bn of support is on offer to employers. It is a key plank in an overall package worth as much as £30bn, including payouts for companies that retain jobs and create new positions, as well as those prepared to take on and train young people. Victoria Lambert analyses why the Chancellor’s efforts to help those aged 16 to 24 fails to help the graduates of 2020 and beyond.

Stamp duty cut: Work out how much you will pay

As revealed by The Telegraph yesterday, property buyers could save thousands of pounds thanks to a cut in stamp duty, with the threshold for the tax on buying properties raised to £500,000. Here is a guide to how the new rules affect you and read on to work out how much you will payLauren Davidson analyses how the measure could help unclog the property market. Yet it is fair to say the Chancellor’s package of measures has received mixed reviews from Telegraph readers, with one bemoaning: “With every word, he adds more to our national debt.”

At a glance: Latest coronavirus headlines

‘Get fit to fight virus’ | England’s deputy chief medical officer has urged Britons to “make yourself as fit as possible” in order to help to fight off a potential second wave of coronavirus. Dr Jenny Harries admitted she was “very, very concerned” about a second wave. Read on for details.

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Johnny Depp trial | Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has denied slapping his ex-wife Amber Heard after she laughed at his “Wino Forever” tattoo, as he faced further questioning on the second day of high-profile libel action against The Sun newspaper. Mr Depp rejected suggestions he slapped Ms Heard three times during a time when he had “fallen off the wagon” after she made a joke of the etching on his arm – saying “that is not true, you are mistaken”. Read on for the latest.

Around the world: How Melbourne locked down again

It looked like Victoria had the situation under control. Daniel Andrews, the state premier, took a hard line on Covid-19 measures during the first wave of the virus. But now his government’s handling of the pandemic has come apart at the seams. Victoria, whose capital is Melbourne, has been sealed off from neighbouring New South Wales, and cases continue to surge. Giovanni Torre in Perth examines how it happened.

Wednesday interview

The man who made Nikola bigger than Ford – with zero vehicle sales


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