Thursday, 15 October 2020
Department of Finance
Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
134. To ask the Minister for Finance the status of the stay and spend scheme; if the effectiveness of it has been assessed to date; if he will seek an extension of the scheme beyond April 2021 in view of the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions; if the Revenue Commissioners have provided feedback on the scheme to him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30617/20]
The Stay and Spend scheme provides tax relief by means of a tax credit at the rate of 20% on qualifying expenditure of up to €625 per person, or €1,250 for a jointly assessed couple. The tax credit is worth a maximum of €125, or €250 for a jointly assessed couple.
The purpose of the scheme is to provide targeted support to businesses within the hospitality sector whose operations are likely to be most affected by continued restrictions.
The scheme is just one of a broad range of measures to support various sectors, including hospitality, at this time. For example, I announced in my Budget speech that the VAT rate applied to Tourism and Hospitality related goods and services is to be temporarily reduced from 13.5% to 9%, from 1 November 2020 to 31 December 2021, in recognition of the unprecedented challenges facing the sector.
The Stay and Spend scheme has been in operation since 1 October. As the Deputy maybe be aware, section 478A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides that I may, by order, extend the qualifying period beyond 30 April 2021. It is too early in the lifetime of the scheme, yet, to assess its effectiveness or to make a decision about whether it should or should not be extended.
Finally, I am advised by Revenue that, as of 9 October, the latest date for which data are available,:
- there have been 4,087 receipts for the scheme uploaded on the Revenue app;
- the total qualifying expenditure included on these 4,087 receipts was €599,836.50 which would give a credit of up to €119,967.30 if claimed; and
- of the 4,087 receipts uploaded, 675 related to both food and accommodation, 670 related to accommodation only and 2,742 related to food only.