Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Pauline Tully, has called on the government to introduce a stimulus scheme to provide a much-needed boost to hospitality and recreation when the sectors can reopen later this year.
Last summer, Sinn Féin launched a hospitality and recreation voucher scheme proposal, which would allocate €200 to every adult and €100 for every child to be spent on hospitality and recreation in local economies across the state.
Teachta Tully said:
“Last summer, Sinn Féin launched a proposal to boost local economies across Ireland through a hospitality and recreation 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 on recreation. That would mean €600 for a family of two adults and two kids.
“This would mean families could have a day out at the zoo, a meal in a restaurant or put the voucher towards a holiday. This would ensure that families who may have lost income over the course of this incredibly tough year to have a much-needed break.
“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. This would stimulate the economy and boost exchequer returns.
“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 ended after being a complete failure.
“Today, I am again urging the government to consider Sinn Féin’s voucher proposals as a better and achievable way of boosting local economies instead. Here in [constituency] and across the state, local businesses would benefit hugely from our scheme.
“It is not acceptable for the government to implement their failed scheme and then simply walk away and offer nothing else. Local businesses need this vital support and must not be abandoned by this government.
“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 person, family, and every town and village in every corner of the state would benefit from our voucher scheme.
“I am calling on the government to back our scheme and ensure that families can get a break and local businesses get a much-needed boost.”