The Malta Independent 30 July 2021, Friday

Almost €1.5 million in vouchers used; 80,000 physical vouchers distributed so far – Economy Minister

Jake Aquilina Thursday, 17 June 2021, 16:51 Last update: about 2 months ago

Almost €1.5 million in vouchers have been used, while 80,000 vouchers have been distributed physically to those who did not apply for the digital vouchers, Minister for the Economy and Industry Silvio Schembri said on Thursday.

This was said during a press conference in order to give an update on the distribution of the stimulus vouchers.

“As you know, the distribution of the digital vouchers has now come to an end and we are now in the process of sending these vouchers physically,” the Minister said.

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117,485 people have downloaded their vouchers online, the Minister said, and these have already started being used. The download time window was until 4th June and the vouchers were made available for use on the 7th of June.

These can be used up until the 15th of September this year, the Minister remarked.

Schembri observed that applications for digital vouchers cannot take place now since the process of the physical distribution has already started.

A total of 328,251 printed vouchers are set to be issued, with 80,000 of those having been sent out already.

Regarding how the postal delivery process works, the Minister said that MaltaPost is delivering the printed vouchers via registered mail. A person at the residence has to present his ID card, and sign for other persons in the household.

In case no one is at the residence at the time of delivery, a delivery note will be left at the residence. Then, the persons would be able to collect their vouchers from the closest MaltaPost branch with their ID card and reference number of the delivery note.

A new service was also introduced this year, so that people can track their vouchers through vouchersmimcol.com.

In terms of outlets which are accepting vouchers, the Minister noted that 3,834 retail and service outlets (blue vouchers) and 2,473 restaurant and accommodation outlets (red vouchers) are accepting them, while 172 outlets are accepting both. This adds up to a total of 6,479 outlets accepting the vouchers.

Since this is the second round of vouchers, the Minister remarked that an additional 386 retail and service outlets and 264 new restaurant and accommodation outlets were accepting the vouchers from last time round, while 40 additional outlets were accepting both. This adds up to 690 new outlets accepting the vouchers since the first batch of vouchers was introduced last year.

For any queries, the minister suggested consumers to phone 80074904, send an email to [email protected], or visit the website vouchersmimcol.com.

“We continued to facilitate the life of people in businesses by adding promotional online items which businesses can download.” This would help businesses to indicate to consumers that their outlets accept the government vouchers.

“Some of these businesses are complementing the vouchers by having their own initiatives and offers. We encourage this as it continues to generate economic activities,” the Minister said. In terms of accountability, VAT receipts should be kept, he said.

During the first week, the value of red vouchers used was 765,525, while the value of blue vouchers used stood at 665,370, for a total of around 1.5 million. This is only taking into consideration the digital vouchers as only those were available during the first week.

Schembri also encouraged businesses using the vouchers to take a close look at the Government Vouchers Business Guide to address any queries they have. If problems still persist, they are encouraged to phone 80074950, send an email; to [email protected], or visit the website vouchersmimcol.com.

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