Finance Minister Conor Murphy today talked about the importance of the construction sector and reliefs available for suppliers impacted by Covid-19.
Commenting on the challenges for suppliers, Conor Murphy said: “The current outbreak of Covid-19 is unprecedented and will have a significant impact on businesses of all sizes. Many suppliers to public bodies will struggle to meet their contractual obligations and this will put their financial viability, ability to retain staff and their supply chains at risk.
“In light of this, contracting authorities should act now to support suppliers at risk, so that they are better able to cope with the current crises and to resume normal service delivery, and fulfil their contractual obligations, when the outbreak is over.
“The public sector must act quickly and take immediate steps to pay all suppliers as a matter of urgency to support their survival over the coming months. Where goods and services are either reduced or paused temporarily, authorities should continue to pay at risk suppliers to ensure cash flow and supplier survival.”
Minister Murphy said: “It is essential the construction sector continues to support vital public services during this challenging period including essential works on our transport, water and sewage infrastructure and essential safety work and that this is done in a safe and sustainable way to protect workers. We have a number of key projects which are vital to help in our overall response to Covid-19, these include completing at pace the projects at Altnagelvin, Royal Victoria and Ulster Hospitals to increase capacity in hospitals.
“I urge all construction companies continuing to providing essential services to comply fully with the Public Health Agency guidelines on Covid-19.”