Murphy Provides Cash For Ailing Services And Economy

£790m package announced by Minister Murphy includes £560m to bolster health service.

£790m package announced by Minister Murphy includes £560m to bolster health service

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy today allocated over £790 million as part of Covid-19 and October monitoring round allocations.

£687 million of this is Covid-19 funding and over £100 million is part of October monitoring and will have a positive impact on a range of sectors including health, education, transport and sport.

Making the announcement, Conor Murphy said: “The allocations announced today provides over half a billion pounds to bolster our health service. This will help fund the response to this public health emergency including enhancing the test, trace and isolate systems.

“The education of our children is a priority. With schools re-opening on Monday I have allocated over £61 million to meet increased education pressures.

“This covers costs with restarting schools including; funding to provide a safe learning environment for children and young people, staff costs, free school meals and uniform grants.

“This also includes, nearly £12 million for Education Authority pressures including Special Educational Needs as part of the monitoring round.

“£19 million will provide much needed financial assistance for the taxi, private bus and coach sector which have been severely impacted by the pandemic and haven’t benefitted from previous schemes. In addition a further £6 million has been held centrally to support this sector.

“£15 million is being allocated for sports organisations which have lost income as a result of reduced spectators at their events, club membership and running competitions.

“We must protect the most vulnerable in society and over £7 million will go to local hospices, which have seen a dramatic loss of revenue and £6.5 million will be used to provide emergency community support and food packages.

“Covid-19 continues to present many challenges and for that reason we are holding £100 million centrally for targeted support by the Executive in the coming weeks and months.”

Other Covid-19 allocations include:

  • £15 million – local councils;
  • £10 million – for Department for Infrastructure lost income;
  • £3.1 million – Executive Communications; and
  • £2.8 million – Further Education.

Other October monitoring round allocations include:

£39.3 million – NI Co-Ownership Housing Association Scheme

£30 million – NI Investment Fund

£6.3 million – Non-Agenda for Change Pay Pressures

£5.6 million – PSNI EU Exit costs

£4.1 million – NI Assembly Members’ staff costs

£2.2 million – Financial Transactions Capitalised Interests

£2 million – Roadworks and street lighting

£1.6 million – Belfast Transport Hub

£1 million – Schools Maintenance

£0.3 million – Social Investment Fund.

Heath Minister Welcomes Package

Minister Robin Swann has welcomed Covid-19 allocations totalling £566 million for the Department of Health.

The Minister said: “I realise that the scale of pressures several departments continue to face at this particularly challenging time significantly exceeds the available funding.

“I therefore welcome the additional allocations to my department which includes £526.7 million resource and £32.4 million capital funding, which will be essential in our fight against Covid-19.

“The funding will enable us to augment still further our stocks of PPE, and facilitate safe storage; continue with enhancements to our test trace and isolate systems; and provide funding for our ongoing response to this pandemic, such as the completion of the second Nightingale Hospital at Whiteabbey.

“It also allows me to move forward immediately with the provision of free car parking to HSC staff until 31 March 2021. 

“A further allocation of £7.3m provided to my department for hospices and the Cancer Fund for Children, will help support the important services they provide given the impact of Covid-19 on their fundraising activities.”

Funding of £6.3 million was also provided from in year monitoring.

Minister Swann also highlighted the continuing pressures surrounding the future funding requirements for Health.

He added: “This year has underlined the need to expect the unexpected. There are inevitable uncertainties about the path this pandemic will take and the future funding pressures that will be faced.

“A vaccine for Covid-19 would require significant investment.

“I am confident that the commitment displayed by the Executive to tackle the unprecedented challenges posed by this pandemic will be maintained. This will allow us to continue the necessary support for health and social care staff working at the front line.

“On behalf of myself, the people of Northern Ireland and my Executive colleagues, I take this opportunity to again express my sincere thanks to, appreciation of, and admiration for their heroic efforts.”