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Rishi Sunak’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Now Seen As Mistake In New YouGov Poll

A YouGov survey has revealed that Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out is now seen as a “bad idea” by over half of Britons.

When the scheme ended, another YouGov survey showed 59% of people supported it continuing further, even the majority of those who did not use it.

Eat Out to Help Out was organised by the Chancellor at the time, Rishi Sunak. It began at the start of August 2020 and subsidised meal costs a few days a week to motivate people to support local restaurants and cafes. 

In the three years since, the alleged mishandling of the Covid-19 response and the ongoing Partygate investigations have significantly damaged the reputation of the Conservative Party. Similarly, public opinion regarding Sunak’s decisions during the pandemic has worsened.

In the new survey, only 32% believed the scheme was a “good idea”, with 52% believing the opposite. Beyond reflecting the Conservative party’s own drop in popularity, the eventual toll of the pandemic is said to be a contributing factor.

The change in opinion can be seen amongst Leeds residents.

Ruby Waterhouse, a student, said: “There was a suspicion that the Government were doing it to distract us from what was really going on.”

Another student, Anna Anjo, felt similarly, she said: “I thought it was a very good scheme. At the same time, I think it was a bad thing… more people were getting exposed, more people may get sick.”

However, others still view it positively. For pensioner George Buxton it was a rare chance to see loved ones.

He said: “I still think it was a good idea because of the people who were isolated, and then had a chance to meet up with friends.”

The issue has been the subject of scrutiny during the Covid inquiries, with Sunak defending its financial reasoning. He said: “All the data… suggested that unless we did something, many of those jobs would have been at risk.”

What do you think?