Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has announced £30million funding for the Executive’s First Step Stimulus package.
Addressing the Assembly on the outcome of the October Monitoring round, the Minister outlined details of the package, which will include an additional £25 million for infrastructure investment and £5 million for community regeneration projects this year.
The Minister said: “We need long term economic stimulus and I envisage this will be delivered by the Executive in the near future. Today, we are sending an early signal of intent to our citizens through the First Step Stimulus package.
“The Executive has agreed £15 million for roads structural maintenance and a further £10 million will be made available for the purchase of new buses. This will provide a welcome boost to our construction and manufacturing sectors whilst delivering improvements in our transport infrastructure.”
Máirtín Ó Muilleoir continued: “The package also includes £5 million for a Community Regeneration Fund. I believe that targeted regeneration will help to build upon the progress our society has made in recent years and act as a lever to stimulate economic growth in the communities where it is most needed.”
The First Step Stimulus package will be funded through borrowing flexibility made available under the Stormont House Agreement.
The Minister set out details of a number of other allocations to departments agreed through the October Monitoring round. Resource expenditure allocations totalled £8.9 million and included:
- £4.8 million to the Department of Health for Translarna Muscular Dystrophy treatments
- £2.5 million to the Department for the Economy for the route development at the City of Derry Airport
- £1.0 million to the Department for Education for Irish medium nurture units and other pressures
- £0.6 million to the Public Prosecution Service for service pressures
The Minister said: “I am pleased that despite the Westminster imposed austerity placing significant constraints on our Resource budget we have been able to honour a number of commitments in areas that represent high priorities for the Executive. This represents a visible example of real results being delivered by Ministers working together.”
On Capital expenditure, the Minister also detailed allocations totalling £22.7 million, including:
- £13 million to the Department for Education for minor works and the purchase of furniture and equipment in schools
- £8.7 million for the Department of Health for essential maintenance and defibrillators for ambulances.
- £1 million to the Department for Infrastructure for investment in LED street lighting.
Notes to editors:
- Monitoring rounds usually take place three times in each financial year and are the vehicle for the Executive to reallocate unspent funding and address unforeseen financial pressures in-year.
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