Dickson calls for more detail on voucher schemes

COVID-19 Economy Stewart Dickson

Questions remain on how two schemes designed to stimulate the economy will work, Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has said.

The party’s Economy spokesperson was speaking after asking Economy Minister Diane Dodds for an update on the High Street Voucher Scheme and Holiday at Home Scheme. The former will see members of the public receive a pre-paid card to be used in local businesses, while the latter will allow households to claim back 50 per cent off a stay of two nights or more in certified accommodation, to the value of £100. Vouchers will also be issued, offering 50 per cent off visits to attractions.

The response to Mr Dickson stated the schemes would be launched when ‘it is safe to stimulate demand’.

“It is of course vital not to launch these schemes until the appropriate time to ensure the safety of the public,” said the East Antrim MLA.

“However, questions remain on how these schemes will be delivered. Especially as the Minister’s track record in the past year on similar recovery schemes has not seen a smooth or efficient roll-out.

“I would welcome more detail from the Department, and an assurance participation in the schemes for shoppers, tourists, and businesses, will be as simple as possible, with no unnecessary or laborious red-tape barriers.
“These vouchers will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis and each household can apply for one of each type of voucher. I encourage people to be proactive in respect of application and claim their voucher money back by uploading their receipt and voucher details online.”