THERE have been local calls for 16 and 17-year-olds to be included in the High Street Voucher Scheme.
The £100 voucher scheme will be opening for applications from anyone who is registered to vote on September 12. Local MLA Jemma Dolan has urged anyone who can to apply for it, which can be done using the NI Direct website or the phone service that will be available to those unable to do so online.
However, while the Fermanagh MLA said it was “a great initiative from the Assembly that will help our local residents and business that have been so badly hit by Covid,” she called on its net to be widened.
“The voucher should also be available for 16 and 17 year-olds,” she said. “Young people in this age group are considered to be of working age, they have national insurance numbers, some have left education and are in full-time employment, others have caring responsibilities.
“They have been badly impacted by Covid, many worked in retail and other frontline services or volunteered in their local communities, and they should be included in this scheme.”
Ms Dolan said the aim of the scheme was to get people back into their local shops and boost the local economy, and including 16 and 17-year-olds would help support this aim.
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