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Government 'Stay and Spend' initiative regressive, unfair and an insult to those on low pay - Darren O'Rourke TD

23 July, 2020 - by Darren O Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O'Rourke TD has said that the hopes of a quarter of a million people who work in the tourism and hospitality sector were dashed today with the announcement by the government of their 'Stay and Spend' initiative. 

The Meath East TD says the scheme will exclude over 700,000 workers and falls far short of the type of stimulus needed by the sector.   

He said;

"Sinn Féin put forward the idea of a staycation voucher which would have helped to get people back to work and which would be available to everyone. It would have put money in people's pockets - €200 per adult and €100 per child - and into the tills of businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector. Instead, we have a very pale imitation of our proposal which is utterly flawed.

"The government's 'Stay and Spend' initiative will exclude those on low pay, carers, the vast majority of pensioners and people who lost work during this crisis - all people in desperate need of a break. For many other workers it is useless because they don't have the money to spend. You can’t spend money that you don’t have in the expectation that you might not get some of it back until 2021 or 2022. 

"The government's proposal is regressive, it is unfair and it falls far short of the real support the tourism and hospitality sector needs. It is a pale imitation of the Sinn Féin proposal. 

"There were high expectations in the tourism and hospitality sector that the July Stimulus would provide some much-needed reprieve. Those hopes have been dashed."

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