More detail needed on £100 high street voucher scheme, says O’Dowd

More confirmation on how the £100 High Street Voucher Scheme is to be managed should be forthcoming, says Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 4:53 pm

Speaking after quizzing Department of Economy officials, he said the voucher ‘has the potential to increase customer spend in our local towns, villages and shops if properly managed’.

“I am concerned at the lack of detail and unanswered questions on the Department of Economy’s High Street Voucher Scheme.

“When questioned, officials could not confirm where and what the voucher could be spent on and would not give firm answers to the economic impact of the scheme.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th September 2019 - Picture Matt Mackey / Press Eye. Sinn Fein's annual 'Away Day' meeting will take place in the Carrickdale Hotel, Co. Louth on Wednesday 11th September. The meeting is attended by elected representatives from across the island and will address the issues of Brexit, Irish Unity, Sinn Fein's alternative budget and Dail priorities. John O'Dowd

“The scheme needs to be finalised asap to allow the public and retailers to plan for a very welcome boost to household income and shop sales.

“Many workers have lost their jobs as a result of the economic downturn triggered by Covid 19.

“Those workers now rely on benefits such as Universal Credit and it would be an injustice if they and their families were penalised for claiming the £100 shopping voucher.

“I made clear to officials that it is imperative Minister Dodds designs the Voucher scheme in such a way that is not classed as income so as to allow everyone access to this much needed scheme.”

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