The Government should stop giving money to banks and give it to the public to spend in shops and boost the economy, according to a Birmingham MP.
Roger Godsiff (Lab Hall Green) said the Government should consider giving people vouchers worth real money which could only be used in shops, to get the economy moving again and prevent cash being hoarded by banks.
The radical idea has already been tried in other countries. In Taiwan, each of the island’s 23 million residents got a $108 voucher to spend in shops, while Japan also distributed shopping vouchers.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Godsiff said Ministers should also consider reintroducing car scrappage schemes, in which motorists receive a government subsidy on new cars if they trade in an old one, again to encourage people to spend money.
He said: “Instead of printing money through co-called quantitative easing and giving it to the banks -- which do not lend it, but hoard it to rebuild their capital base - why should we not give consumers money vouchers that are time-limited and must be spent on household goods or on, for instance, car scrappage schemes?
“We should try out some new ideas. The fastest way to stimulate the economy is from the bottom upwards, and no job creation scheme could have a more immediate effect than bringing our high streets alive.
“All Members know of high streets in their constituencies with boarded-up shops, and where the only new shops are Poundland stores and charity shops.
“This is not revolutionary thinking. It has been tried before in America, Japan and China. People are looking for new ideas for the future, and they are prepared to accept radical and innovative policies.”
Mr Godsiff also told MPs that it was important to remember the economic crisis had been caused “by the greed and irresponsibility of a small, self-serving group of people who made the decisions and played the casino, and now everyone else is paying the price.”