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Business Government Politics South Armagh Stormont

Update from Finance Minister on the Draft Budget

Finance Minister Conor Murphy has updated the Assembly on the Draft Budget and additional funding.

Updating MLAs, Minister Murphy set out legal advice he has received on how budgetary matters could be progressed in the absence of an Executive.

Minister Murphy said: “I have now received detailed legal advice and unfortunately it is not possible to deliver a Budget in the absence of an Executive. This means the health service will not receive the planned 10% increase in funding, nor will it benefit from being able to plan on a three-year basis. 

“Since the Draft Budget went out to consultation an additional £300 million has become available for 2022-23. Regrettably, it is not possible to allocate this £300 million to areas such as skills, housing and policing until such times as an Executive is re-established.

“However I do intend to proceed to freeze both domestic and non-domestic regional rates next year, which will help with the rising costs faced by families and businesses.  Unfortunately I cannot extend this to the three years as previously intended.

“I will also progress with the £50 million rate relief package to support a rates holiday for businesses. This will provide a three months rates holiday for retail, tourism, hospitality, leisure, childcare, newspapers and airports which are the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. A one month rate holiday will be provided for all other businesses, except utilities and larger food stores.

“In these difficult circumstances I will continue to do my best to ensure funding for essential public services continues.”

ENDS

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