Coronavirus: UK inflation rises as ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme ends

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British inflation rose to 0.5 percent in September, official data showed Wednesday, as the UK government ended a meals discount scheme boosting the restaurant sector battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual inflation rate, as measured by the UK’s Consumer Prices Index, increased from a near five-year low of 0.2 percent in August.

The ONS said that along with transport costs, “restaurant and cafe prices, following the end of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, made the largest upward contributions” to inflation in September.

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Eat Out to Help Out

The “Eat Out to Help Out” incentive in August saw the UK government subsidizing the cost of a cafe, restaurant or pub meal.

Britons enjoyed more than 100 million meals under the discount scheme, according to recent data,.

Some analysts have also argued that the measure may have fuelled cases of coronavirus.

Britain has suffered Europe’s worst death toll from coronavirus, with nearly 44,000 deaths.

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