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Lyons set to announce ‘remedies’ for those unable to spend high street vouchers

Around 1.4 million £100 spend local cards were sent to householders in Northern Ireland but some people missed out.

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Economy Minister Gordon Lyons (PA)

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons (PA)

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons (PA)

The Economy Minister is to outline “remedies” for those people who were unable to spent Stormont’s high street vouchers through no fault of their own.

Householders across Northern Ireland were eligible for a £100 voucher to spend in local shops under one of Stormont’s flagship post-Covid economic stimulus policies.

More than 1.4 million pre-paid spend local cards were sent out, resulting in a £136 million spend in the economy.

Despite the deadline to use the cards being extended a number of times late last year, Gordon Lyons told the Assembly there was a “small number of people” who had not been able to spend the money.

Mr Lyons said his departmental officials were working on the issue and he expected to make an announcement in the Assembly within days.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

“It is important that we highlight that some people were not able to get their card, were not able to avail of this scheme,” he told Assembly question time.

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“Importantly, that was through no fault of their own. So there were a number who perhaps theirs got lost in the post or were not able to activate their cards.

“I understand how frustrating that will be so, as a department, we are currently looking for remedies.

“I hope in the next few days to be able to bring that to the house and be able to share with members how we intend to fix that issue.

“However, I think it is worth pointing out that, although there were a few problems, and that is still a relatively small number of people, the overwhelming number of those who applied for their card received their card and, importantly, spent their card.

“£136 million was spent and it was a fantastic benefit to businesses.”

The death of one further person who had previously tested positive for Covid-19 was notified by the Department of Health on Monday.

Another 3,932 confirmed cases of the virus were also reported.

On Monday morning, there were 371 Covid-19 inpatients in hospital, 23 of whom were being treated in ICU.


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