Stay & Spend savings should underwrite gift voucher guarantee – Naughten

In Jobs, News, Tourism by Denis Naughten

In Dáil Éireann tomorrow (Thursday) Denis Naughten TD will seek to have the Government’s Stay & Spend scheme restructured to ensure gift vouchers issued in the tourism and hospitality sector can either be redeemed or refunded in 2021.

“Government has set aside €140m for the Stay & Spend Scheme to issue tax refunds for the period October to December 2020, but because of the lockdown this will not now happen,” stated Denis Naughten.

“Rather than the sector losing out on this money, I will be asking the Minister for Finance tomorrow morning to ringfence the money to act as a guarantee for those who purchase gift vouchers across the hospitality sector between now and Christmas.

“When we see iconic attractions such as Dublin Zoo under threat of closure, this will make many people wary of purchasing gift vouchers for hotels, restaurants or tourist attractions as they fear many may not reopen.

“The purchase of gift vouchers will not only provide vital cashflow to these businesses to ensure they remain open into next year – a key objective of the Stay & Spend Scheme – but will also encourage people to holiday at home in 2021.

“Guaranteeing these vouchers is potentially a win-win for our economy, particularly in many rural communities and smaller towns across Ireland and ensures the money set aside by Government to support this sector in 2020 actually does just that,” concluded Denis Naughten.