New stimulus scheme needed to boost tourism and hospitality - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Tourism Imelda Munster TD has called on the Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin to introduce a stimulus scheme to provide a much-needed boost to tourism and hospitality when the sectors can reopen later this year.
Teachta Munster’s comments follow the Minister for Finance’s announcement that he will not be replacing the government’s failed Stay and Spend Scheme for 2021.
Last summer, Sinn Féin launched a tourism and hospitality voucher scheme proposal, which would allocate €200 to every adult and €100 for every child to spend on tourism and hospitality in local economies across the state.
Teachta Munster said:
“Last summer, Sinn Féin launched a proposal to boost local economies across Ireland through a tourism and hospitality stimulus package.
“Our detailed and fully costed plan would give workers and families a break by putting money back in their pockets, while also boosting local economies through increased spending in local tourism and hospitality.
“Our scheme would allocate a voucher worth €200 to every adult and €100 for every child to be spent locally in hospitality or tourism. This would mean families could have a day out at the zoo, a meal in a restaurant or put the voucher towards a holiday. It would boost local businesses by bringing in customers and help keep jobs in the local economy within industries that have been brought to their knees by the Covid restrictions.
“Many countries around the world have introduced stimulus schemes like these, which have been a huge success in supporting local economies and helping to rebuild post-Covid.
“Unfortunately, despite our scheme receiving the backing of many in these industries, the government ignored our proposals last year and instead opted for the flawed Stay and Spend Scheme which turned out to be a total flop.
“Less than 1% of the government scheme’s allocation was drawn down by 4th March and the scheme came to a close last week. Stay and Spend excluded a large number of low-earners, it was unfair, poorly targeted and ultimately was a complete failure.
“I am again calling on the government to consider Sinn Féin’s voucher proposals as a better and achievable way of boosting local economies instead.
“If this government genuinely wanted to help people to have a break this year and if they wanted to boost local economies, they would provide a new stimulus scheme like the one we have put forward. But they’re offering nothing.
“Sinn Féin’s voucher scheme is fair, it applies to everyone, it is straightforward and it puts money directly into people’s pockets to spend in local restaurants, tourist attractions or on accommodation.
“Every family, and every town and village in every corner of the state would benefit from our voucher scheme.
“The government’s scheme was a flop and it’s right that it wasn’t renewed, but the government is abandoning local businesses by simply walking away and offering no alternative.
“I am asking the Minister for Tourism to ensure that this doesn’t happen, and that a new stimulus scheme like Sinn Féin’s tourism voucher scheme is introduced this year.”