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'If you spend €100 you should get €250 back' - Call for scheme to encourage spending

A business group says Ireland should offer a gift card scheme to encourage people to shop in-pers...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.04 16 Sep 2021


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'If you spend €100 you should...

'If you spend €100 you should get €250 back' - Call for scheme to encourage spending

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.04 16 Sep 2021


Share this article


A business group says Ireland should offer a gift card scheme to encourage people to shop in-person.

The Government is being urged to follow Northern Ireland's example, which is offering a stg£100 (€117) gift card to everyone there over-18.

The €170m programme will see the first cards being issued in the North in October, with a deadline to spend them of November 30th.

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It aims to help businesses in retail and hospitality which were hit by the pandemic.

Richard Guiney, CEO of Dublin Town, told Newstalk Breakfast such an approach makes sense.

"The State has spent billions keeping businesses in situ, and I think it's now time to encourage those businesses to stay in business and to encourage trade.

"Where we are in Dublin city centre at the moment is we're not at a point where trade is not at the levels where we need it to be to sustain those businesses.

"Our footfall's about two-thirds of what it would have been in 2019 and... it's not enough when the Government supports - which have been very welcome - are withdrawn.

"And we've also seen obviously a migration to online shopping - the numbers shopping online on a weekly basis is up by half, and the number of people who'd never shopped online is down by a third."

But he says there should be an incentive attached to the cards as well.

"I think we can be slightly clever on this.

"If you have a scheme whereby people purchase a voucher, say for example the cost of the voucher is €100 to them, but they get €250 back.

"The VAT on that - people generally spend more than the voucher amount - so say if they spend €300 or €350: the cost to the State when you take the VAT elements that people will obviously incur, it halves the cost roughly.

"If two million people - for example - bought a voucher at that level, then the cost to the State would be less than €150m.

"But in the context of what's being spent keeping business alive, that's a relatively small amount".

'If you spend €100 you should get €250 back' - Call for scheme to encourage spending

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Main image: Composite image shows a consumer holding Euro bank notes in 2014 and shoppers checking products on Dublin's Grafton Street in 2015. Picture by: Federico Gambarini/DPA/PA Images/Artur Widak/SIPA USA/PA Images

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DublinTown Gift Card Scheme Newstalk Breakfast Northern Ireland Richard Guiney

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