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The vouchers would be non-means tested and available to every resident in the State, says Sinn Féin.
The vouchers would be non-means tested and available to every resident in the State, says Sinn Féin.
Image: Shutterstock/jamegaw

State should give €200 voucher to every adult in the country to boost domestic tourism, says Sinn Féin

The scheme would also see every child receiving a voucher worth €100.
Jun 23rd 2020, 2:58 PM 34,154 114

MEMBERS OF THE public should be given a €200 voucher to spend in a bid to boost and support tourism, according to Sinn Féin.

Under the party’s new proposal for an economic stimulus plan for the tourism and hospitality sectors following the pandemic, this scheme would see every adult in the State receiving a voucher worth €200.

The scheme would also see every child receiving a voucher worth €100.

The vouchers would be non-means tested and available to every resident in the State. The scheme would cost over €860 million.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport TD Darren O’Rourke said the vouchers would revive the two sectors hit hardest by the Covid-19 public health emergency by giving a boost to domestic tourism. 

O’Rourke said urgent government intervention is required to support workers and businesses as they reopen.

Under Phase 3, restaurants, cafes, hotels, as well as pubs that serve food are set to open.

“Tourism is the State’s largest indigenous industry, employing 265,000 people, with 68% of these jobs outside of Dublin.

“Around 92% of workers in the accommodation and food sectors have received the Pandemic Unemployment Payment or have been on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, while the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation is estimating a hit to the sector in the region of €3.5 billion in 2020,” he said.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD said the proposed plan would encourage people to holiday at home, and would be a welcome option for families to have a “break away or days out after what has been an extraordinarily difficult period”.

He said the vouchers should take the form of smartcards that could be collected from post offices and Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection offices around the country.

The card would make it convenient to spend, and would allow people to tap and go.

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For public health reasons, Sinn Féin said the voucher could only be used to buy alcohol if a meal was also being purchased.

Similar stimulus plans have been introduced in Italy to encourage people to holiday at home, while Vienna is giving residents vouchers for restaurants in the city, said Doherty.

Stimulus cheques have also been issued in some States in the US.

Tourism Minister Shane Ross and his junior minister Fine Gael’s Brendan Griffin have both acknowledged that the sector will be one of the hardest hit in the economy.

Griffin said he is in favour of another a bank holiday being given at “the tail end” of the year in order to boost tourism. 

He added that VAT reductions for the tourism sector should also be considered. 

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Christina Finn

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