Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (232)

Alan Dillon


232. Deputy Alan Dillon asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if she will consider a real-time voucher scheme as an alternative to the stay and spend scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8640/21]

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Written answers (Question to Tourism)

The Stay & Spend Scheme commenced on 1 October 2020. Its purpose was to provide targeted support to businesses within the hospitality sector impacted by continued restrictions.

The Stay and Spend scheme was devised at a time when there appeared to be a steady downward trend in infection rates and there was an expectation that the re-opening of the economy could be sustained uninterrupted. Public health restrictions have had the effect of impeding the operation of the scheme as originally envisaged.

The Scheme is due to operate until 30 April but flexibility exists for the Minister for Finance to extend its operation in 2021 beyond that date. The Government will monitor how matters develop over the coming months and the role that the scheme might play, and consider if any changes need to be made.