Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, has criticised the Government’s ‘Stay and Spend’ scheme as a missed opportunity to restart the hospitality sector and a flawed scheme which unfairly excludes large sections of society.
Teachta O’Rourke said:
“The Government’s proposal is a weak alternative compared to the proposed voucher scheme which Sinn Féin brought forward back in June and will do little to help an industry on the floor.
“Our idea would have stimulated activity in the economy, by injecting hundreds of millions directly into the tills of businesses who are struggling. The scheme was detailed, fully costed and had the backing of key industry figures.
“As well as supporting thousands of jobs, it would have allowed people who otherwise would have stayed at home due to financial constraints, to get out and about and enjoy themselves.
“Our proposed scheme would have put money into the hands of families, which would allow them take a break away or have a few fun days out with the kids during this difficult time.
“Our scheme would have stimulated the economy, provided much needed cash flow for businesses in the tourism sector and given ordinary workers and families a much-needed break amid these strained and challenging times.
“The government’s idea will just reward people who were going out to spend anyway.
“Under this flawed and unfair scheme, the richer you are; the more you can spend; the more you refunded by the taxpayer. Where is the fairness in that?
“The sheer unfairness of this government proposal is astonishing, excluding up to a million people for no particular reason.
“The voucher scheme we put forward has been deployed in countries across the globe. Austria, Italy, Australia and Japan are just a few examples of countries were this policy has been a success.
“This ‘Stay and Spend’ initiative is a missed opportunity to boost the struggling hospitality sector.
“Today’s announcement is another worrying sign of a Government which has been too slow to act and which fails to grasp the reality of the issues facing workers, businesses and families during this pandemic.”