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free money Details on how to apply for Northern Ireland £100 high street voucher released

The Economy Minister has urged people to spend the money in local independent businesses

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Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said a high street voucher scheme, which will offer pre-paid cards worth £100 to every adult in Northern Ireland, will open for applications on September 27 (Liam McBurney/PA)

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said a high street voucher scheme, which will offer pre-paid cards worth £100 to every adult in Northern Ireland, will open for applications on September 27 (Liam McBurney/PA)

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said a high street voucher scheme, which will offer pre-paid cards worth £100 to every adult in Northern Ireland, will open for applications on September 27 (Liam McBurney/PA)

New information has been released on how people in Northern Ireland can apply for the £100 high street voucher.

The voucher is designed to inject cash into local businesses and boost the economy during the coronavirus crisis.

The scheme will open on September 27, with early applicants due to receive the card in early October.

Around £1.4m people in Northern Ireland are eligible for the card which can only be spent in ‘bricks and mortar’ shops.

It cannot be used online, nor can it be used for legal services or financial services.

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said he hoped many using the card would go on to spend more money, helping to reinvigorate local businesses ahead of the Christmas shopping rush.

Those wishing to apply later this month can do so through the NI Direct online portal.

While the card can be spent in major retail chains, Mr Lyons said urged those who avail of the scheme to spend the money in local independent businesses.

The scheme is open to people aged over the age of 18, however a number of young people under that age have lodged a complaint to the Department for the Economy over their exclusion.

They are being assisted in their complaint by the Children’s Law Centre.

The department has previously stated issues surrounding the verification of the identity of those younger than 18, as well as data protection issues, led to their exclusion.

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