Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that Sinn Féin’s proposed staycation voucher system should be revisited by the government as a boost to the tourist industry after the abject failure of their ‘Stay and Spend’ tax rebate which has seen very little take up.
Teachta Crowe said:
“The tourism and hospitality sector is on its knees. The sector is crying out for support and they need greater clarity from the government around how and when they will be able to reopen.
“When Sinn Féin put forward a voucher scheme in July, many industry representatives indicated that they would be in favour of the proposal as a method of supporting them in the coming season.
“Sinn Féin put forward a Staycation Voucher Scheme last summer which would give €200 to every adult and €100 for every child to ensure that everyone can avail of a helping hand and hopefully enjoy a holiday this year.
“Our plan would put money directly into the pockets of people who would then put that money into tills across the state in order to give a much-needed boost to the sector.
“Our plan is simple, effective, and fully costed, but the government rejected it out of hand and decided to go down the failed route of a tax rebate. A ‘Stay and Spend’ tax rebate which will end on April 30th and has seen practically zero take up as the country has been closed for much of the period since October 1st when it came into effect.
“Rather than a clunky system of a tax rebate, which a cynic would describe as a way of making sure no one went to the trouble of collecting, a voucher would directly inject cash into the tourism and hospitality industry that is on its knees.
“We need to have a workable system in place before the sector is allowed to fully reopen. We also need clarity around how businesses will be allowed reopen and when. It will be far too late if we wait for the dust to settle after Covid and thousands of pubs, restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality businesses will have closed their doors for good.
“The Sinn Féin scheme is the only one on offer that can work and needs to be given the green light by government.”