Almost two thirds of people say the Stay and Spend scheme has not influenced shoppers according to a sentiment survey of over 2,000 taxpayers.
Data compiled from Taxback’s customers shows 35% said the scheme would not persuade them to spend while a further 25% had never even heard of the scheme.
It is now calling for a scheme ‘reboot’ at the end of Lockdown 2.0 to make customers aware that they do not need to travel away from home to avail of it.
Marian Ryan, consumer tax manager at Taxback.com. said: “From the onset there appeared to be a relatively poor take up of the scheme by businesses generally.
“Its problems were further compounded by a growing uncertainty around its viability of the initiative particularly in the wake of the country moving into Level 3 and subsequently Level 5 restrictions.
“Awareness of the scheme and what’s included seems to be a big issue and, in our experience, many who are aware of the scheme believe that they need to travel away from home to avail of it.
“Too few people realise that they can also avail of it in their local restaurants and cafes.”
Calling for a reboot Ms Ryan explained: “41% of respondents in our survey said they would spend more because of the scheme, buy-in from them could help many restaurants, cafes and hotels once they are allowed to reopen.
“A Government funded public awareness campaign will critical to remind people of the existence of this scheme”.