Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

08.52 24 Mar 2021


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Everyone in the country should be given a 'tourism voucher' to encourage them to take staycations in Ireland this summer, Sinn Féin says.

The party's proposing every adult should be given a voucher worth €200, with another €100 for every child.

The proposed scheme would not be means-tested, meaning it would cost around €860 million in total.

On Newstalk Breakfast, Sinn Féin Louth TD Imelda Munster said her party put forward the same idea last year.

However, they still think it would work to boost tourism and encourage staycations in 2021 once restrictions are eased.

Give all adults a €200 'tourism voucher' this summer to boost staycations - Sinn Féin

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Deputy Munster said: “At the time, we believed - and still believe - that the proposal would be seen as an investment in jobs and in the businesses.

“Yesterday we had representatives from the hospitality and tourism sector in at the tourism committee, and they laid bare the toll these COVID restrictions have had.”

The Louth TD acknowledged the cost of the scheme would be large, but argued that it would also help generate tax revenue due to tourism spending.

She also suggested it could also help reduce dependence on the wage subsidy scheme and PUP.

She said: “The entire sector is on its knees.

“92% of workers in the accommodation and food sectors are either receiving PUP or the temporary wage subsidy scheme. Not only would it help create jobs, but it would also support hundreds of thousands of workers and their families.

“There are many countries during the pandemic that have given similar stimulus packages to help out.

"Whilst some of us are lucky enough not to have been affected - that still have a job - there are many hundreds of thousands who haven’t been that fortunate.”

When it comes to people whose income hasn’t been as badly affected, Deputy Munster said the vouchers would still be a way to encourage them to take staycations at home when restrictions are lifted.

The Government last year introduced a 'stay and spend' scheme which gave tax breaks to people who holidayed in Ireland.

Opposition parties criticised the scheme as too complicated, and the Finance Minister has previously played down the prospects of a similar scheme being introduced this summer.

Main image: File photo of Imelda Munster and Mary Lou McDonald. Picture by: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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