Shoppers should pay 1p to use supermarket self-checkout machines to heal Brexit divisions, say MPs

MPs have proposed charging people to use self-checkout machines (PIcture: PA)

Shoppers should pay 1p to use supermarket self-checkout machines in order to help heal the social divisions caused by Brexit, a group of MPs has said.

The parliamentary panel on social integration made the radical proposal in a report last week.

The group, chaired by Change UK MP Chuka Umunna, said the move would help “counteract potential damage caused by a lack of everyday contact between people”.

It said the move would help heal the generational divide in Britain and would raise £30 million to be spent on social inclusion projects.

The proposal was made by a group of MPs chaired by Chuka Umunna (Picture: PA)

Mr Umunna 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.

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"Now, more than ever, we need to act to bring our country back together and move forward as one.

"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.”

Would you pay 1p to use the self-checkout? (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Antony Hawkins from The Challenge, a social integration charity, said: "Our society is divided along many fault lines so it is great to see this group delve deep into the reasons for divisions between the ages and offer suggestions on how we bridge that gap."

But Tom Ironside from the British Retail Consortium, criticised the proposal.

"A new tax, particularly one that penalises modern shopping behaviour, will harm both consumers and retailers at a time when retailers are rightly focused on delivering the best value for shoppers," he said.

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