Finance Minister Announces £151m Spending For NI

Finance Minister Conor Murphy has announced a total of £151.3 million in the January Monitoring Round, with over £40m allocated to the education sector.

Other allocations include support for the transport sector, local councils, and funding for compensation for those impacted by the Avian Flu outbreak.

Outlining the allocations, Minister Murphy said: "Over £40 million will go towards education. Covid has created huge challenges for schools and funding is being provided to help schools pay for substitute teachers and PPE. It also includes £18.4 million for Special Educational Needs.

"£17 million is being provided to support local councils.

"Public transport continues to face reduced passenger numbers and with that loss of income. £24 million is being provided to subsidise bus routes along with a further £19.8 million for Translink including lost income as a result of Covid.

"Recognising the difficulties facing the private bus and coach sector, £4 million will be used to deliver a further financial assistance scheme."

January monitoring departmental allocations are as follows:
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• Department for Infrastructure – £71.8 million – Covid-19 lost income, Bus route subsidy, A6, NI Waters, Roads Energy, DVA and Penalty Charge Notice bad debt write off.

• Department of Education - £43.8 million – Covid-19 pressures, Special Educational Needs, Voluntary Exit Scheme and Depreciation.

• Department for Communities – £18.2 million – Council Funding for Covid impacts, De-rating grant and Rates Support Grant

• Department of Justice – £12.3 million – PSNI and Legal Services Agency NI

• Department of Agriculture, Environment, and Rural Affairs – £4 million – Avian Flu

• Department of Finance – £0.8 million - Covid-19 Small Business Top UP Grant

• NI Audit Office – £0.4 million – Building Project Costs

The Minister continued: "All bids submitted by Departments have been met in full.

"If further bids to meet urgent priorities come forward from Departments, further allocations can be made.

"However, given the constrained budget position next year, the Executive does want to carry over funding into the next financial year. The Treasury caps the amount of funding we can carry over. Therefore if we are to avoid surrendering money to the Treasury it is critical that underspends from Departments are kept to a minimum."

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