£250m funding package to deal with Covid-19 pressures announced by Finance Minister

By Q Radio News

The Northern Ireland Executive is set to lose over £70m due to an underspend last year. 

Finance Minister Conor Murphy confirmed that over £90m was left in departmental budgets in April - with only £20m allowed to be carried over. 

He unveilled a £250m funding package for the current year which includes additional support for children, vulnerable people and struggling businesses. 

Over £35m has also been allocated to help with University and Higher Education projects. 

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy today allocated over £250 million as part of the 2020-21 June monitoring round process.

Announcing the funding, Minister Murphy said: “The allocations made today will provide vital funding for our health service, vulnerable people and businesses.

“A further £90 million has been allocated to health.

This includes funding for Elective Care and for the Mental Health Action Plan which is integral to the wider COVID-19 recovery.

“To support children during this pandemic I have allocated £12 million for a summer food scheme, £12 million for summer activities and £10.5 million for childcare.”

“Over £15 million has been provided for the most vulnerable in society.

This will help meet increased benefit delivery costs, assist vulnerable people to live independently and will provide support for the homeless.

“I am also allocating £20 million for business start-ups and investment in tourist attractions.

In addition I have allocated £4 million to assist the arts sector and £2 million for the sports sector.”

Other allocations include: £35.5m for infrastructure to include £20m for Translink, £10m for other transport lost income and £5.5m for NI Water; £25m for Ulster University Greater Belfast Development; £13.5m for the NI Court Service, PSNI and NI Prison Service; £3.6m for Education Authority pressures and £0.3m for School Uniform Grants; £2.5m for costs associated with establishing the administrative arrangements for the implementation of the Victims Pensions scheme; £2.5m for Higher Education; £2.2m for Invest NI; and £0.5m for COVID-19 public information communications. 

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