Social Democrats TD for Cork South West, Holly Cairns, says that supports for the tourism and hospitality sectors in the July stimulus package fall far short of what is required.

Holly said:

“I believe there is a need for further practical supports and increased grants for the tourism sector in the July stimulus. Clearly there is a gap between the Government proposals and what the sector actually needs.

“While I welcome some aspects of the bill relating to tourism, representatives of the industry in West Cork have pointed out that it doesn’t go far enough to help a sector that has been most impacted by the pandemic. Rural Ireland is highly dependent on the tourism and hospitality industries. These small businesses, which are often family run, provide vital employment and services for towns and villages, as well as being an outlet that local farms, fishing communities and food producers supply and rely on.

“The extension of the restart grant to a broader range of SMEs corrects the shortcomings of previous schemes. However, the industry needs more ambitious grant funding rather than an extension of the Credit Guarantee Scheme. Tour operators, restaurants, hotels, guesthouses – everyone in the hospitality sector – needs proper support, not more debt.

“The Government’s ‘Stay and Spend Incentive’ is fundamentally flawed. It should be a simple €125 voucher, not a complex tax rebate that favours those who can afford to spend more and do without that money until it is refunded. In addition, as the October to April qualifying period covers a time when many of these businesses will be closed, this incentive will be of little use to them.”

July 30, 2020

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