Sinn Féin proposes €600 voucher scheme for use in hotels, restaurants

Pre-loaded smart cards would be available through social protection offices, TDs say

The scheme would give a €200 voucher to each adult and €100 to each child in the State to spend on the domestic market. File photograph: iStock

The scheme would give a €200 voucher to each adult and €100 to each child in the State to spend on the domestic market. File photograph: iStock

 

A family of two adults and two children will be entitled to once-off hospitality vouchers worth a total of €600 under a new scheme being proposed by Sinn Féin.

Deputies Louise O’Reilly and Imelda Munster said on Thursday that the Government should consider giving vouchers to people for domestic accommodation, restaurants, tourist attractions and events instead of the tax break used for the jettisoned “stay and spend” initiative last autumn.

Ms Munster said the scheme would give a €200 voucher to each adult and €100 to each child in the State to spend on the domestic market, between July this year and the end of 2022. She said the overall cost of the once-off scheme would be around €850 million.

“The sector has been closed since the start of the pandemic,” said Ms O’Reilly. We want people, once it is safe, being able to get back out and start spending money in the tourism and hospitality sector.

“We believe that this stimulus will kick-start the sector.”

Ms Munster said that the stay-and-spend scheme had been a flop and had excluded those on low incomes.

Ms Munster said that Fáilte Ireland would be given responsibility involving a simple online or in-person registration. Families would be issued smart cards with the entire allocation. They would be collected from Social Protection offices.

Asked how such a scheme involving registration, smart cards and agreements with hospitality providers could be designed before the summer, Ms Munster insisted if the Government was enthusiastic and were willing, it could be ready by summer.

“If there is a will there is way,” said Ms O’Reilly.