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Stormont agrees £400 Covid relief package

Northern Ireland’s Stormont Executive has agreed a support package ahead of two weeks of strict restrictions from Friday to suppress the spread of coronavirus.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy said the funding comes from £400 million which Stormont received from the Treasury two weeks ago.

Current support measures, including the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme and the Department for Economy’s Covid Restrictions Business Support Schemes, will be extended.

Allocations agreed include: – £150 million for rates relief for the sectors worst affected by the pandemic – retail, hospitality, tourism, leisure, childcare, and airports.

– £95 million High Street Voucher Scheme will give people a pre-paid card for use on the high street.

– £20 million for company directors, a group that has been excluded from previous support.

– £10.6 million for wet pubs.

– £5 million to top up the Tourism and Hospitality Scheme.

– £4.1 million for bed and breakfasts.

– £ 44.3 million to enable a one-off heating payment of £200 to disabled people on higher rate allowances and older people in receipt of pension credit.

– £10 million each for support for councils and sport.

– £20.6 million for Department of Education which includes food grants for families of young people entitled to free school meals.

– £1.2 million from the £10 million set aside for support for airports to provide further support to the City of Derry Airport.

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