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NI High Street voucher: Some cards ‘likely’ to take longer than 10 days for delivery

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Economy Minister Gordon Lyons. Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons. Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

PA

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons. Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

Some of those who have successfully applied for the high street voucher scheme may have to wait longer than 10 days for the card, the Economy Department said.

The department said the volume of cards being produced by the manufacturers may mean there is a small logistical delay for some people, but stressed that everyone would have plenty of time to use the voucher.

Applications opened for the £100 pre-paid card on Monday, with it being expected those successful would receive the card 7-10 days later.

Those whose application has been successfully processed will have been greeted with an email which tells them their “personal details needed to produce the card” have been “passed to the card provider”.

The email goes on to say: “It is likely it could be a number of weeks before you receive your card because the card provider has to manufacture and distribute cards for up to 1.5 million people.

“Don’t worry because we are planning that everyone should have at least four weeks to spend their £100.”

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The £145 million scheme allows the card to be spent in "bricks and mortar" businesses up until November 30, with the last day to apply being October 25.

A spokesperson for the Economy Department reassured the public that most people should receive the card within 7-10 days after applying, but with so many cards being produced it is “likely” there could be some small delays.

They stressed however that “everyone will get enough time to spend their card”.

“The portal opened on Monday 27 September and the first cards will issue within 7-10 days. The first batch of cards will issue to the public from Monday 4 October,” said the spokesperson.

“It is likely that some people may need to wait longer because the card provider has to manufacture and distribute cards for up to 1.5 million people.”

On Thursday Economy Minister Gordon Lyons called the £145m initiative the “highest profile” measure in his £278m economic recovery action plan and said it would give the economy “a huge financial shot in the arm”.

He told his department’s Assembly scrutiny committee a further £21m had been set aside to cover the possibility of an excess number of applications.

Since the initiative went live on Monday, more than 560,000 applications for the cards have been completed, with 300,000 verified using the Electoral Office database.


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