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Dickson welcomes high street voucher scheme but says questions remain

Alliance Economy spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has welcomed an announcement the high street voucher scheme will finally open in September.

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons made the announcement after revealing the contract had been awarded to Prepaid Financial Service. The £145 million scheme is expected to open to everyone aged 18 and over, who will be able to register for a prepaid card worth £100 to spend on the high street. Applications will be checked against the electoral register.

“I am happy to see the scheme progressing to this stage and the awarding of the contract for the delivery of the scheme. High Street businesses have had a difficult 18 months through the pandemic and this scheme will help boost spending in our towns and cities,” said East Antrim MLA Mr Dickson.

“However, a number of questions remain regarding how the scheme will function. In particular, whether there will be a cost to businesses for accepting these cards as payment or minimum spend amount, and if businesses that do not accept cards can also participate.

“It is also important the Minister ensures they can be used in our local charity shops, and consider how people could also donate funds, if they wish to do so.”