Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has said a potential security breach in the roll out of the High Street Voucher scheme is absolutely unacceptable.
Mr Dickson – the Party’s Economy spokesperson – said he had been contacted by constituents who had received cards meant for other people, as the first round began to roll out across Northern Ireland.
He added the Minister must now give urgent reassurance that this mistake will be fully investigated in order to deliver public confidence in the scheme.
“I have already taken this up with the Department this morning as there is no telling just how far reaching these mistakes go. I am currently awaiting an official response – which includes how these mistakes can be quickly rectified, compounded by the fact there is not central helpline designed to help those with questions and concerns,” he said.
“This is potentially a very serious security breach, with constituents receiving letters addressed to them, yet with cards attached for other people. How has the printing system managed to get things so wrong? It is just the latest in a long line of questions that are emerging around the roll out of this scheme.
“Not only that, but there seems to be even less clarity as to how people can get in touch with the Department to have the situation corrected. This has added even more confusion and stress for those in receipt of mistakes today.
“Overall we must remember this scheme is designed to encourage spending in our local communities, any and all a delay only impacts the livelihoods of local businesses further.”