Shoppers ‘should be given free cash’ to boost economy

The Scottish Retail Consortium makes a 'radical' suggestion to the Scottish Government.

Consumers should be given direct cash payments from government to stimulate Scotland’s recovery, retailers have suggested.

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) says “radical” action is needed to get the economy back on track after the coronavirus crisis.

The trade body says shops will face “the toughest trading conditions this century” when the lockdown eases.

In an eight-page submission to the Scottish Government’s advisory group on the economic recovery, a number of short-term stimulus measures were suggested to boost consumer spending.

Retail companies employ 240,000 people and contribute £25bn to the economy, according to the SRC.

The paper makes a number of suggestions, including targeted income tax or land and business transactions tax cuts to support ordinary workers and direct cash payments to less affluent consumers.

A short life scrappage scheme to replace inefficient household items with modern, environmentally-friendly models and encouraging consumers to return to town centres through committing local authorities to abolish town centre parking charges were also proposed.

Other measures suggested by the SRC include extending business rates relief and a moratorium on public policy measures unrelated to covid-19.

The SRC’s head of policy Ewan MacDonald-Russell said: “The Scottish economy is already facing unprecedented turmoil.

“Our retail sales figures saw a 40% drop in April; and there is a slew of evidence which indicates retailers will face the toughest trading conditions this century once the country emerges from lockdown.

“The Scottish Government must take bold and imaginative steps to deliver an economic stimulus package which will drive the economy on the road to recovery.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code