Holiday at Home Voucher Scheme

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Economy – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 6 December 2021.

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Photo of Gordon Lyons Gordon Lyons DUP 2:30, 6 December 2021

Unfortunately, the holiday at home voucher scheme will now not proceed. I had looked forward to being able to bring that scheme through because I recognise the difficult time that hotels, and the hospitality industry more generally, have had over the past number of months.

I brought the scheme to my Department. It considered the business case, but it was unable to confirm that it offered value for money. However, as it would give a much-needed boost and combine private and public-sector money, I believed that it was worth considering. Therefore, I issued a ministerial direction to my departmental accounting officer, which required the matter to be taken to the Executive or the Minister of Finance. Neither the Executive nor the Department of Finance was willing to approve the scheme. Therefore, unfortunately, it is unable to be progressed.