NI voters slow to stake £100 claim

Despite the incentive of a £100 shopping card for every adult in Northern Ireland who is registered to vote, less than two thirds of people have done so.

Monday, 30th August 2021, 5:00 pm
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has said every adult who registers to vote in NI will get £100 to spend on the high street

MP Carla Lockhart has urged people to secure their vote, with latest statistics from the Electoral Office showing a 62.77% response rate amongst those eligible to register.

The DUP representative said: “Latest statistics from the Electoral Office show that over one third of those eligible to register to vote have still not acted to secure their vote in future elections.

“That is one over one third of people who could potentially be disenfranchised and have no way of helping to shape future elections to councils, Stormont or Westminster.

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“The time to act is now. We all know that in Northern Ireland an election can happen at any time and my message is ‘be prepared’ by registering today.”

NI Retail head Glyn Roberts also encouraged people to register to vote, not least to avail of £100 to spend in local shops.

The application process for the £100 card opens within the next fortnight, and will require a second registration on top of the voting registration the applicant must already have completed.

Mr Roberts said: “Believe it or not, it is as good as it sounds. Every single person aged 18 and over who is registered to vote will get £100 to spend.

“This was one of the ideas we put to the executive as a way of getting people out shopping, supporting the high street, and boosting the economy with a fiscal stimulus.

“The key challenge for us is encouraging them to use those vouchers to support local independent retailers and hospitality businesses. It’s absolutely vital that they go out and do that – 70p in every pound you spend with an independent retailer is recycled around the rest of the economy.”

Mr Roberts understands that the voucher can be used with retailers or all shapes and sizes: “It can be used across the board – the only restrictions are you can’t use it online and you can’t use it in the bookies. It can be used in bars and restaurants as well as shops.”

The registration process to vote can be completed at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

The application portal for the £100 shopping card will be launched in mid-September via the NI Direct website.

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