Written answers

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Department of Finance

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Emer HigginsEmer Higgins (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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46. To ask the Minister for Finance if the staycation grant could be adapted to allow mobile home owners claim tax back on their annual fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23541/21]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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I believe that with regard to "staycation grant", the Deputy may be referring to the Stay and Spend Tax Credit scheme which terminated on 30 April.

While I recognise the significant difficulties that remain to be faced by the hospitality sector, the decision not to extend the scheme into the summer months was taken in the broad interests of taxpayers and having regard to the substantial supports that remain in place, including the reduced 9% rate of VAT and the EWSS and CRSS schemes. It is fair to say that that taxpayers' interests would not have been best served by such an extension in circumstances where it is likely that we will all be staying at home and hopefully holidaying in Ireland. It may be more appropriate to take stock again after a further period and assess then if the position needs to be reconsidered.

While in operation, the purpose of the Stay and Spend scheme was to provide indirect support to service providers. This included, amongst others, hotels, guest houses, holiday hostels, youth hostels, caravan and camping parks and self-catering properties registered with Fáilte Ireland. As regards the question raised by the Deputy, annual fees payable by owners of mobile homes would not have fallen within the ambit of qualifying expenditure.

With regard to the possibility of other tax reliefs on fees payable by owners of mobile homes to service providers, I do not believe it would be equitable to introduce such a relief.

More generally also, I must be mindful of the public finances and the many demands on the Exchequer; tax reliefs, no matter how worthwhile in themselves, lead to a narrowing of the tax base. Under my Department's Tax Expenditure Guidelines, changes to measures should only be considered in circumstances where there is a demonstrable market failure and where a tax based incentive is more efficient than a direct expenditure intervention.


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