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Northern Ireland High Street Voucher Scheme and Holiday at Home discount set to give people a boost

Now that we’re all able to get out and about again, some of us may be worried about over-spending as we move out of lockdown.
Many of us across Northern Ireland may have noticed a reduction in our income throughout the pandemic with an increasing numbe…

Now that we're all able to get out and about again, some of us may be worried about over-spending as we move out of lockdown.

Many of us across Northern Ireland may have noticed a reduction in our income throughout the pandemic with an increasing number of people becoming more financially vulnerable than ever.

But the Northern Ireland Executive has recently announced two new voucher schemes that could help us enjoy ourselves without breaking the bank.

The High Street Voucher scheme and the Holiday at Home scheme are part of Stormont's Economic Recovery Action Plan to help those businesses that have been hit hardest by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

What is the High Street Voucher scheme and how does it work?

Last month, it was announced that every person over the age of 18 in Northern Ireland will be eligible to apply for a pre-paid card worth GBP100 to spend on their local high street.

Economy Minister Diane Dodds has said this scheme could potentially inject GBP140 million into the local economy, with people physically having to go to businesses to spend the voucher.

There are currently around 1.4 million people over the age of 18 in Northern Ireland - roughly 80% of the country's population.

The High Street Scheme will be available to apply for on an online portal which people must sign up to and request their voucher from, and it's expected it will be launched at the beginning of Autumn.

What is the Holiday at Home scheme and how does it work?

(C) Getty Images Beauty spot Mussenden temple

The Holiday at Home scheme is also set to be launched this Autumn and is designed to boost demand for the tourism industry in off-season months.

It's hoped this will help the sector on the road to recovery after a year of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Households will be able to claim back 50% off a stay of two nights or more up to GBP100 in certified accommodation.

Other vouchers will also be issued as part of this scheme, offering 50% off visits to attractions or tourism experience providers, up to the value of GBP20.

Vouchers will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis and each household can apply for one of each type of voucher.

The way this staycation voucher scheme works is slightly different to the High Street Voucher scheme.

Households can request their discount after paying by uploading their receipt and voucher details online.