17/12/2021

Finance Minister Calls For Furlough Scheme To Be Reinstated

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

NI was recently allocated £75 million, however Minister Murphy has said that £50m of this is "not new money".

Minister Murphy said: "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."
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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."

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