Sun, 03 Jul 2022

The Department for the Economy today published a statistical report and accompanying data tables presenting key findings on the Northern Ireland High Street Scheme from questions asked in the NISRA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Opinion Survey.

Findings from the NISRA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Opinion Survey

The statistics presented in this report cover two time periods; 2 August to 26 September 2021 prior to the launch of the Scheme on 27 September 2021, and 27 September to 27 November 2021 following the launch of the Scheme. The report provides a summary of responses to questions regarding the Scheme, and where the number of respondents is large enough, differences by age band, limiting longstanding illness, sex and employment status are discussed.

Key points:

During 2 August to 26 September 2021, prior to the launch of the Scheme:

  • The majority (97%) of respondents said they intend to apply for a prepaid Pound 100 card when the High Street Scheme is launched, whilst only 3% said they did not.

  • Of those who said they intend to apply for a prepaid Pound 100 card, nine tenths (90%) said they intend to apply online, whilst a tenth (10%) said by telephone.

  • Of those who said they intend to apply for a prepaid Pound 100 card, the majority (87%) said 'I will apply myself', a tenth (10%) said 'I will ask someone to apply on my behalf' whilst 4% said 'I will apply myself with assistance'.

  • Of those who said they intend to apply for a prepaid Pound 100 card, just over three fifths (61%) said they intend to spend all or most of the Pound 100 in small local businesses. Under a third (29%) said they intend to spend some in small local businesses and some in large multinational companies, whilst a tenth (10%) said they intend to spend all or most of it in large multinational companies.

During 27 September to 27 November 2021, after the launch of the Scheme:

  • The majority (85%) of respondents said 'I have already applied via the online portal', a seventh (14%) said 'Not yet - however I intend to apply', whilst 1% said 'No - I do not intend to apply' for a prepaid Pound 100 card.

  • Of those who said they had already applied via the online portal, over four fifths (82%) said 'I applied myself', under a sixth (15%) said 'Someone applied on my behalf' and 3% said 'I applied myself with assistance'.

  • Of those who said they had already applied via the online portal themselves or with assistance, the majority (95%) said they found the application process very easy/ easy, whilst only 5% said they found it difficult/ very difficult.

  • Of those who said they had already applied via the online portal or they intend to apply, two thirds (67%) said they intend to spend or have spent all or most of the Pound 100 in small local businesses. Over a fifth (22%) said they intend to spend or have spent some in small local businesses and some in large multinational companies, whilst just over a tenth (11%) said they intend to spend or have spent all or most of it in large multinational companies.

  • Of those who said they had already applied via the online portal or they intend to apply, over two fifths (44%) said they intend to spend or have spent all of the Pound 100 on something(s) they would have bought anyway whilst over a fifth (22%) said they intend to spend or have spent none of the Pound 100 on something(s) they would have bought anyway.

  • Of those who said they intend to spend or have spent all or most of their Pound 100 on something(s) they would have bought anyway, the majority (70%) said this has "freed up" money in their budget, whilst 30% said it has not.

  • Of those who said they have "freed up" money in their budget, over a third (36%) said they intend to spend or have spent it on something(s) they would not have bought in the absence of the Scheme, over a quarter (27%) said on paying bills or reducing debt, over a fifth (23%) said on something else whilst 15% said to increase their savings.

  • Of those who said they have "freed up" money in their budget, under three quarters (71%) said they intend to spend or have spent most or all of it in small local businesses, whilst similar proportions said they intend to spend or have spent some of it in small local businesses or elsewhere including online (both 15%).

This full statistical report and related information is available to download on the DfE website.

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