UK news Executive announces £165m financial support package for business, cultural and capital projects last news
MetiNews.Com - Finance Minister Conor Murphy used Thursday's Stormont briefing to announce a £165m financial support package for business, cultural and capital projects.
Breaking News ! "Finance Minister Conor Murphy used Thursday's Stormont briefing to announce a £165m financial support package for business, cultural and capital projects. It came as Executive ministers denied that disagreements are behind putting off a crucial decision on pub curfews.A decision was expected at the briefing, as other UK regions have moved to set closing times at 10pm in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.A further 189 new cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland have been reported in the last 24 hours, with the death rate remaining at 577.First Minister Arlene Foster confirmed the R rate, used to measure the rate of transmission, was at 1.5 and that the average daily rate of new Covid cases had jumped from 90 to 150.On the issue of pub closing times Mrs Foster said there was a “strong unity of purpose” in the Executive, but an announcement would not be expected until next week.She added that the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officers were fully supportive of the Executive’s position.Mrs Foster was also questioned about why her colleague, DUP MP Sammy Wilson, had been pictured not wearing a mask on a London tube.Mr Wilson has claimed that he had briefly taken the mask off to make a phone call.The DUP leader responded: “I want to say this as clearly as I can.
.”Addressing new measures to support businesses from the chancellor Rishi Sunak, she welcomed an extension of a 5% VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sectors.As the furlough scheme is due to end next month, she said it had benefited around 250,000 workers in Northern Ireland and that the Executive was still looking at the detail of the chancellor’s emergency jobs scheme to replace it.She added that measures to enhance cancer services in Northern Ireland had now been approved by the Executive, with the Health Minister due to give further updates next week.Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said the latest Covid restrictions were essential to slow the spread of the virus, noting it had already been effective in the Ballymena area and transmission rates in schools were low.Outlining the latest funding measures, Mr Murphy said £29m would be used for cultural recovery to help musicians, venues and museums.A further £29m for business interventions will include support for the tourism industry anda Holiday at Home voucher scheme.£40m has been allocated to help councils maintain essential services while £14.8m has been set aside for the A6 Derry to Belfast road scheme and £15m for NI Water.Other allocations include;Anticipating extra pressure on the health service, Mr Murphy said £600m was also being held centrally for further interventions including PPE requirements and for bus, coach and taxi industries."
Source = MetiNews.Com