Murphy calls on Treasury for additional support

Date published: 16 December 2021

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has written to Treasury calling for additional funding and for the furlough scheme to be reinstated to deal with the increased challenges presented by Omicron.

Commenting on the recent announcement by Treasury of additional funding, Minister Murphy said: “While confirmation of further funding is welcome, some £50 million of the £75 million announced is not new money. This £50 million was already expected and factored into our plans, meaning that the announcement provides £25 million of additional funding. This funding also comes with the caveat that some of it may need to be repaid.”

Calling for additional flexibility, increased funding and reinstatement of furlough where necessary, Minister Murphy continued: “The emergence of the new Omicron variant has significantly affected the economy with pressures being felt most acutely in the hospitality sector in the run up to Christmas.

 “I have stressed to Treasury that the Executive need to be able to respond quickly and flexibly to the emerging public health position. Having to wait to see what England’s response is in order to know what level of financial support is available here is an untenable position.

 “I am therefore calling on Treasury to immediately provide further support to allow us to plan our response.  I have also called for the reinstatement of the furlough scheme where necessary and a guarantee of significant additional funding without the caveat of possible repayment.  These measures will help us support businesses and the public through this challenging period.”

    Notes to editors: 

    1. Any changes to Whitehall departments’ funding are confirmed at the end of the financial year through the Supplementary Estimates process. This process usually concludes in January before being voted on in Parliament. At this point the Westminster Government also confirms any changes to the devolved administrations’ funding. If the amount of funding provided up front to each devolved administration is more than the Barnett consequentials confirmed at Supplementary Estimates then the difference will be need to be repaid in 2022-23, or over the Spending Review period if necessary.
    2. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Finance Press Office on Tel: 028 9081 6724 or email dof.pressoffice@finance-ni.gov.uk.
    3. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
    4. Follow us on Twitter @dptfinance

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