A group of British legislators has suggested charging 1p to the shoppers who use self-service machines in a bid to promote social integration and heal the existing divisions in the society.
The policy was proposed by Chuka Umunna’s led parliamentary panel on social integration in a recent report, named Healing the Generational Divide.
Each penny charged on using self-checkout machines will be used to fight the damage caused by social divisions.
According to the report, the policy could generate a whopping £30($38) million which could be then spent on initiatives to promote social inclusion.
However, experts have warned that the new policy could harm customers looking for good value.
“A new tax, particularly one that penalizes modern shopping behavior, will harm both consumers and retailers at a time when retailers are rightly focused on delivering the best value for shoppers,” said Tom Ironside of the British Retail Consortium – UK’s trade body for supermarkets.
MP Chuka Umunna, who heads the panel that proposed the policy, said: “We all know that Brexit has been incredibly divisive but what we have seen over the course of this inquiry suggests that generational division extends far beyond the realm of politics, into our daily lives.
“This report sets out the beginnings of a framework where local, regional and national government can work together to foster stronger connections between generations.”
“Now, more than ever, we need to act to bring our country back together and move forward as one,” Chuka, who left Labour to found party Change UK earlier this year, added.
“That’s why it’s vital we keep talking about what is happening in our society, try to understand why and find solutions that will help heal the generational divide.”
Wera Hobhouse, a member of the parliamentary panel, said: “It’s plain to see that there are many places where segregation is occurring in our society.”
“What we need to find are ways forward to improve relationships between young and old, and this interim report offers some interesting ideas in how we can do that,” the Bath MP added.
It’s not known yet if Change UK or other political parties will adopt the suggestions made by the report as their official party policy.
‘Healing the Generational Divide’ also suggested that Transport for London should launch initiatives like ‘Take Your Headphones Off Day’ to promote integration among people from different generations.
In addition to that, the report suggested a small tax relief for people who dedicate a certain number of hours to community service every month.
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