EVERYONE in the UK could be given a £500 shopping voucher under new proposals to help kickstart the economy after the coronavirus lockdown.

It’s thought the plans could encourage the public to begin spending local again – creating cash flow for businesses worst hit by the pandemic.

The idea was drawn up by thinktank the Resolution Foundation – who suggest a one-year time limit for spending the money.

What is the idea?

Under the scheme, every adult would be handed £500 and every child given £250 – with the payments restricted to ‘face-to-face’ retail and hospitality, instead of online.

They would be universal, delivered as coupons, smartcards or even redeemable using mobile phones.

The one-off payments would cost the UK Government around £30billion. 

Barrhead News: It's hoped the scheme could boost retail sectors post-lockdownIt's hoped the scheme could boost retail sectors post-lockdown

Why is it needed?

James Smith, at the Resolution Foundation, said there has been “huge implications” for sectors like retail, tourism and leisure. 

He said: “That is why the jobs of so many workers in these sectors are in the firing line. The Chancellor’s recovery package on Wednesday should reflect this unique economic challenge.

"As well as setting out the biggest ever peacetime job support programme, the Chancellor should get Britain spending in places where it’s needed most.

"A universal ‘High Street Voucher’ scheme – worth £500 per adult and £250 per child – to be spent only in these sectors would kickstart demand in the right parts of our economy, boost living standards and deliver targeted support to the businesses that need help the most.

"The Chancellor has already shown that big, bold measures like the Job Retention Scheme are welcome and necessary in the current economic climate. He should take this same approach as we enter the crucial recovery phase of the crisis."

You can view the full plans here.

Will it happen – and when?

The UK Government has yet to comment on the plans.

Official word could come as early as tomorrow, when Chancellor Rishi unveils new measures to protect the economy – however he has so far refused to speculate on whether the scheme could be implemented.

He is expected to announce additional support for trainee and apprenticeship schemes, as well as a stamp duty “holiday” to support the housing industry.