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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Murphy allocates £316 million of COVID funding

The Executive today agreed almost £220 million of Covid funding to support the social recovery from Covid. The health service, education, the arts, charities and sports organisations are among the beneficiaries.

In addition to the £219.9million, £96.1 million is being allocated to meet costs associated with the business support schemes (an increase on the £80.9 million held centrally included within Budget 2021-2022).

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Announcing the allocations, Minister Murphy said: “Although the COVID 19 restrictions are easing, the impact of COVID on society remains profound. The £220 million I am allocating will support the social recovery from Covid.

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“I’m providing nearly £60 million to support the health service. This will help continue the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme which has been hugely successful. The pandemic has had a significant impact on mental wellbeing and I have provided funding for a number of mental health interventions. I’m also conscious that many people are experiencing long-term impacts from Covid. Funding has therefore been provided to support individuals managing the long term health effects of Covid. 

“Over £50 million is being allocated to support our children and young people’s education. This includes £20 million to provide laptops for teachers and voluntary youth services, £10 million for well-being and pastoral support for students, funding for Special Educational Needs services as well as support for the Irish Medium sector, outdoor education centres and outdoor play in primary schools. 

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“I am also providing £9 million for the Further Education Sector to ensure a safe learning for students including through funding for Covid testing.”

Minister Murphy continued: “Recognising the impact of the pandemic on unemployment levels I am allocating £12 million to support older people returning to employment.

“I am also providing £13 million to support recovery within the Arts, Cultural and Heritage sector, £5 million to support charities and social enterprises, and £5 million for sports organisations.”

The Minister concluded: “As we lift restrictions these allocations will bolster the health service and fund the social recovery from Covid.”

Other allocations include:

  • Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – £2.6 million to include funding for Wastewater Surveillance Programme, Rural Business Community Fund and Rural Community Ornamental Garden Scheme.
  • Department for Communities – £10 million for councils, £3 million for Community Support Programme, £1 million for Food Interventions, £0.8 million to support town and city centres and £0.5 million for IT support.
  • Department for the Economy – £14.1 million for the Large Hospitality and Tourism Business Support Scheme and £18 million for the Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme.
  • Department of Finance – £64m for the Localised Business Support Scheme and £2.7 million for loss of income, staffing and recruitment.
  • Department of Justice – £21.5 million – funding for cross-justice recovery, NI Courts and Tribunal Service, NI Prison Service and PSNI.
  • Department for Infrastructure – £20 million for lost income.
  • Public Prosecution Service for cross-justice recovery – £1.3 million.
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