Stay and spend scheme to close and will not be replaced, Donohoe says

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Stay And Spend Scheme To Close And Will Not Be Replaced, Donohoe Says
Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at the launch of the Stay and Spend scheme in September 2020. Photo: PA
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Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has confirmed the stay and spend tax incentive will close on April 30th and there are no plans for a replacement.

The Covid-19 support scheme was introduced last year with a view to encourage Irish people to holiday at home during the “shoulder season” between October and April, with a tax credit of €125 for each person, or €250 per couple.

Mr Donohoe had calculated the scheme would cost the State €270 million over two years.

However, soon after its introduction the country went into a series of strict lockdowns amid rising Covid infection rates.

Instead of more than 2 million taxpayers availing of the incentive with a cost of €270 million, only about 60,000 submitted claims with an overall cost of €2 million.

In a response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil TD Pádraig O’Sullivan, Mr Donohoe has confirmed the scheme is being wound down with no replacement.

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Mr Donohoe said the interests of the taxpayers would “not be best served by extending the scheme over the summer months in circumstances where we will all be staying at home and hopefully holidaying in Ireland”.

He also confirmed to Mr O’Sullivan that his department was not examining any alternative to the stay and spend tax credit scheme at the present time.

However, he added that he may “take stock” again in a number of months and make a decision on if the termination of the scheme needs to be reconsidered.

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