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Minister needs to explicitly state when High Street voucher will launch, says Dickson

The Economy Minister needs to explicitly state when the High Street voucher scheme will launch, Alliance Economy spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has said.

The Department for Economy announced the scheme would begin on a date after September 12, however as of Monday there was no definite date as to the launch.

“Our high streets have been hit hard by the pandemic and need all the support they can get,” said Mr Dickson.

“But sadly to date, while the Minister has talked a good game, we have yet to see that followed up by action. I have been contacted by a number of people, confused as to why the scheme has not yet gone live.

“Time is of the essence – the Department has indicated the ability to spend these vouchers will cease by the end of November. If the vouchers do not appear for some time yet, that window will narrow. In addition, we need reassurances the website and phone line will be able to cope with the volume of traffic it will inevitably see.

“The Department’s track record in this area is not fantastic. Therefore I call on the Minister to explicitly state a date on which it will launch, to give people confidence they will see it in plenty of time.”