Murphy outlines Executive’s Budget which is dominated by response to the coronavirus pandemic

Finance Minister Conor Murphy

DELIVERING the Executive’s 2020/21 budget, Finance Minister Conor Murphy announced a real term increase for all Departments.

The Budget allocates £12.2 billion of Resource funding and £1.6 billion in Capital funding.

Recognising the impact of Covid-19, Minister Murphy said: “Development of this budget began before the onset of Covid-19 and has been overshadowed by the unprecedented Public Health Crisis we face.

“There is no doubt that we remain in a challenging financial environment. Protecting lives and livelihoods from this pandemic is now the Executive’s number one priority.”

£100 million of Covid-19 funding is allocated in today’s Budget to fund a three months rates holiday for all businesses. The remaining £812 million will be allocated in a separate process.

Minister Murphy added: “The Executive will do all in its power to ensure this Budget and the additional Covid-19 funding delivers for our citizens, workers and businesses in this time of crisis.”

On domestic and business rates Minister Murphy said:

“In terms of domestic properties we have relatively low rates and strong protections for households on low incomes. To ensure no additional burden on households during the difficult and uncertain time I am freezing domestic rates.

“While domestic rates are relatively low, business rates are extremely high. Our SMEs have long cited the high cost of rates as a key difficulty. I have reduced business rates by 12.5%. Combined with Reval 2020 this means an 18% reduction in rates.

“Although I decided to reduce business rates in advance of the Covid-19 threat, this reduction will help with the economic recovery on the other side of this pandemic.

“I am also renewing Small Business Rates Relief and the Rural ATM Scheme.”

Full detailed budget allocations can be found at: https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/publications/northern-ireland-budget-2020-21

 

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