Sinn Féin economy spokesperson Caoimhe Archibald has said the high street voucher scheme should be extended to 16 and 17 year-olds.
The East Derry MLA said:
“The high street voucher scheme is due to be rolled out in September and it is currently planned that eligibility will include all adults aged 18 and over.
“The voucher should also be available for 16 and 17 year-olds; 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.
“Young people 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.
“In terms of the aims of the high street voucher scheme, it is about getting people back into their local retailers, improving consumer confidence and ultimately supporting local businesses and the local economy.
“Including 16 and 17 year-olds in the high street voucher scheme will support those aims, it will bring another cohort of people back into shops and other service providers, and help our local businesses and economy.
“I have previously raised this through the Economy Committee and will be doing so again when officials brief us tomorrow.”