Kerry TD Says His Party’s Tourism Plan Would Boost Kerry’s Economy

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Deputy Pa Daly.

DEPUTY Pa Daly, Sinn Féin TD for Kerry, has welcomed the party’s proposal for an economic stimulus plan to benefit the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Sinn Féin believes this stimulus plan – amounting to over €860 million in total – would revive two sectors hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic, providing a particular boost to Kerry which is so dependent on tourism and hospitality.

Under this scheme, every adult in the State would receive a voucher worth €200, while every child would be entitled to a voucher worth €100, to be spent in businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

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Deputy Daly said: “Tourism is essential to the success of Kerry’s economy; it employs over 16,000 people and generates over €660 million annually in revenues.  This scheme will support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the state, including thousands of families right here in Kerry.

“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.  By extension of this number, Kerry is likely to face losses of €250 million tourism revenues.

“I am hearing from too many tourism related businesses, self-employed operators and workers who cannot contemplate re-opening their business due to the lack of appropriate government supports and uncertainty over when we will return to normal, and if we ever will. With restrictions on travel to the State remaining in place, Sinn Féin believes a substantial economic stimulus is urgently needed to revive these sectors.

“This plan will also give workers and families the welcome option of a break away or days out after what has been an extraordinarily difficult period.

“Similar stimulus plans have been introduced around the world. Italy has a similar plan to encourage people to holiday at home, Vienna is giving residents vouchers for restaurants in the city and Iceland is distributing domestic tourism vouchers directly to residents.  These can be issued via smartcards, where spend can be controlled by business type.  This ensures the vouchers go where they are most needed – into our tourist economy.

“We know that for every one euro spent in the economy, the exchequer receives about 23c; I hope to see this proposal move forward without delay in order that we can get Kerry back on its feet. This would be non-means tested and available to every resident in the State. Not only will it will assist those unable to afford a break, but also encourage those who can to spend their vouchers, plus more, in our local economies.

“This is an investment in jobs and businesses. Without intervention now, thousands of jobs will be lost permanently, costing the State considerably more in the long-run,” he said.

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