The NSW Government have announced that they will be giving every adult in the state 100 dollarydoos to spend on food and entertainment as part of an economic stimulus plan that was announced yesterday.
In Victoria, Premier Dan Andrews announced at a press conference today that 120,00 lucky Victorians will also receive similar vouchers of $200 in an effort to boost regional economies and encourage tourism.
The schemes are being put in place to respond to the dramatic decline in food and entertainment spending that the country has experienced during the coronavirus pandemic. NSW has been hit particularly hard, with demand in those sectors falling more sharply than anywhere else in the country, according to the Bureau of Statistics.
Victorians will qualify for the scheme if they spend at least $400 on accommodation, attractions, or tours in regional areas.
“Whether it’s a day trip with the family or a tour along our stunning coast, we’re helping more people get out and enjoy the best Victoria has to offer,” Mr Andrews said.
The mechanics of the system are still in the works but the Victorian Government is hoping to have the scheme up and running in time for the Christmas holiday period.
In NSW, the “Out and About” voucher programme will be trialed first in Sydney’s CBD next month before being rolled out to the rest of the state in January.
Participants will receive four vouchers of $25 each when they sign up to the Service NSW app. Two vouchers can be spent on food at restaurants or cafes while the other two can be used for entertainment activities like the cinema. The vouchers won’t however work for alcohol, cigarettes, or gambling.
The strategy seems to have been borrowed from the UK, where the Government there gave people 50% off of meals eaten out in what they called the “eat out to help out” scheme. The name alone raised a few eyebrows but the spending itself is thought to have been responsible for the surge in cases the UK is now seeing. Thankfully our states have very low COVID numbers and safety restrictions will still be in place.
The ABC is reporting that not all businesses are happy about the announcement, with some worried that it will change the local dynamics of certain places and restaurants that sign up to the scheme. Most however are thrilled to be getting some much needed support from the Government.