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NI high street voucher: 10,000 people still waiting for card

Around 10,000 people are still awaiting delivery of their Spend Local Cards, according to the Department for the Economy.

The department said 1.4 million successful applications were made to the scheme with 1.39 million cards dispatched.

However, they said thousands are still awaiting the cards, which are expected to be sent in the “coming days”.

They said the reason why some may yet not have received their cards could be due to people having submitted late applications – with around 1,500 applications falling into this category.

They also said those still awaiting the £100 high street voucher may have submitted identity verification information late.

In addition, they said some cards have been held up by errors made in applications or applications being incorrectly identified as duplicates.

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There are less than two weeks left for people to spend the money before the December 14 deadline.

Around £145m was allocated to the pre-paid cards, granting everyone over the age of 18 £100 to spend in bricks and mortar retailers in a bid to boost the high street.

Any money which has not been spent before 14 December will be returned to the Department for the Economy.

The deadline to use the card was extended by two weeks at the start of November after tens of thousands were still awaiting verification on the system.

The minister said retailers and hospitality venues have so far benefited from a £100m boost thanks to the scheme.

A Department for the Economy spokesperson said: “There were 1.4 million successful applications to the scheme.

“1.39 million cards have been dispatched; this represents 99% of successful applications. We continue to process applications that are outstanding.

“To date over 1,394,000 cards have been dispatched. Almost 10,000 further cards will be dispatched over the coming days.

“The reason why remaining cards have been dispatched so late is due to a number of reasons: Late submissions (around 1.5k), applicants submitting evidence late, errors in applications and applications being incorrectly identified as duplicates and suspended / now released.”

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