Government scheme to give families staycation vouchers slammed as a 'con job'

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Government plans to give families staycation vouchers has been described as a “con job” by Sinn Fein’s tourism spokeswoman TD Imelda Munster.

The claim comes after it emerged that the promotion in the form of a tax rebate will only kick in from September so families holidaying here in July and August will lose out.

Deputy Munster said there is no way parents will be taking their children out of school in September after being out of their classrooms for nearly six months so the staycation subsidy is useless to ordinary families.

She said that it would appear that the Government has delayed the plan so families can’t avail of it.

Deputy Munster said: “Today we learned that the government’s plan is only valid from September. This is ridiculous as obviously families will be taking holidays in July and August.

“Children have been off school for six months year, and we hope that they will be returning to school in September. Families won’t be in a position to take holidays then.

“This just shows how out of touch the government is – either that or they are deliberately introducing measures they know people won’t be able to avail of.”

It is understood that the tax break not be retrospective and so parent who spend cash on their holidays this month and next can not claim against the expenses that incur.

The “staycation subsidy” will allow those who holiday here to reclaim a portion of their hotel or restaurant bill and is designed to give a boost to the domestic tourist industry and is being developed as part of the Government’s Covid-19 Stimulus Package.”

Deputy Munster also claimed that the scheme will benefit the better off instead of helping poorer families enjoy a holiday.

She added: “The scheme is already problematic in that the tax rebate model will exclude those with less money to spend who need a cash incentive the most. Those who can already afford a holiday and intended to take one anyway will be getting rewarded for that under this plan.

“Sinn Féin’s staycation voucher plan would give €200 to every adult and €100 to every child to ensure that everyone can avail of a helping hand to enjoy a holiday this year.”

Labour’s tourism spokesman Mark Wall also hit out at the subsidy claiming it is “too little, too late.”

He added: “Any tourism stimulus must take in the traditional peak summer season and not just the off-peak ‘shoulder season’ of September and October.

“These proposals will mean little or nothing to thousands of families with children who will not be able to holiday once schools hopefully return in September.

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“Labour is calling for a much more ambitious economic recovery package of at least €10 billion over two years which would allow for a more comprehensive tourism stimulus.”

Source: Dublin News