Replace failed Stay and Spend Scheme with Sinn Féin proposal for tourism and hospitality voucher to support jobs and businesses - Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has criticised the Minister for Finance for refusing to replace his failed Stay and Spend Scheme with a scheme that would provide stimulus to the hospitality and tourism sectors in the months ahead.
He has called on the government to implement Sinn Féin’s voucher scheme proposal.
The government’s Stay and Spend Scheme has been an abject failure, with less than 1 percent of funding drawn down.
In June last year, Sinn Féin proposed a hospitality and tourism voucher scheme that would provide a multimillion stimulus to the sectors as they emerge from the pandemic.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:
“As part of last year’s July Stimulus, the Minister for Finance launched the ‘Stay and Spend Scheme’.
“This scheme was to run from October 2020 to the 30th April, today.
“It has been an unmitigated failure, with less than 1 percent of the funding allocated to the scheme having been drawn down by March 4th.
“Worse still, 29 percent of all earners did not even qualify for the scheme on account of not having high enough incomes.
“This would have resulted in a ridiculous situation whereby two families could have received two meals in a restaurant, with one family paying 25 percent more for their meal simply because they are a lower income family.
“The scheme was badly designed, poorly targeted and has proved to be an unmitigated failure for the hospitality and tourism sector.
“News that the Fine Gael Minister for Finance has no plans to replace his failed scheme with an alternative for the hospitality and tourism sector is poor policy.
“In June last year, Sinn Féin proposed the rolling out of a voucher scheme that would be available to all citizens and provide a shot in the arm to the hospitality and tourism sectors.
“This would provide stimulus to these sectors with a multiplier effect that will help the sectors most impacted by the pandemic.
“In the months ahead, voucher schemes will be rolled out in the north that will provide a much needed boost to these sectors, as has been done in numerous jurisdictions in response to the pandemic.
“The government’s Stay and Spend Scheme was a total failure, as Sinn Féin warned it would be.
“The Minister for Finance should implement Sinn Féin’s voucher scheme proposal and provide a boost for workers and businesses as we emerge from the pandemic.”