Scottish Labour reveals £75 voucher plans to help high streets and tourism
Anas Sarwar has unveiled plans for a £75 shopping voucher for every adult in a bid to help Scotland's high streets and tourism industry.
Scottish Labour have said the prepaid card is part of the "largest economic stimulus plan in the history of devolution" as he outlined the details this morning.
The party's leader said his manifesto will propose a scheme to return people to the high street post-lockdown, as well as a 'Great Scottish Staycation' offering a third night free.
The package is aimed at helping the sectors by encouraging shoppers and tourists to support local economies, when safe to do so, and readdress the balance following the boom for large online retailers.
Sarwar said: "This is a chance to reward Scottish families for their sacrifices in the last year and help keep fellow Scots in work to support our national recovery."
The first part of the plan would see every adult aged 16 and over given a £75 prepaid card to spend in non-food businesses within Scotland.
The scheme would be time-limited, starting in June, and lasting for six months. It would not be used for online purchases.
It follows similar schemes being announced in Northern Ireland and used in Malta and Jersey.
Scottish Labour said it would also promote a 'Great Scottish Staycation 2021'.
It would offer a 'third night free' subsidy for holiday accommodation across Scotland, including hotels, B&Bs and self-catering.
The proposals would be accompanied by a ‘Scotland is open’ campaign to welcome visitors from across the British Isles.
Any tourist travelling within or to Scotland from the British Isles in September, October and November of this year would be eligible for the scheme. The policy would apply to off-peak dates.
The scheme would contribute up to £50 per person to the cost of their third night’s accommodation, capped at £100 per hotel room or £50 per person in other accommodation.
Sarwar added: "The last year has been tough for us all. The pandemic has separated us from our friends, families and neighbours.
"But amid the hope of an end to the public health emergency, we must recognise that Scotland still faces a job crisis.
"Without urgent and ambitious action in towns across this country, hundreds of thousands of people face a future out of work - with empty town centres hollowing out once vibrant communities.
"But it doesn’t have to be that way - the people of Scotland deserve a brighter future, and we have it in our power to act.
"This is bold and ambitious thinking to aid our economic recovery and get Scotland back on track.
"This scheme would invite people from across the UK to visit every corner of our beautiful country - saving jobs and creating a lifelong love of Scotland."