Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has announced £30million funding for the Executive’s First Step Stimulus package.
Addressing the Assembly on the outcome of the October Monitoring round, the Minister outlined details of the package which will include an additional £25million for infrastructure investment and £5million for community regeneration projects this year.
The Minister said: “We need long term economic stimulus and I envisage this will be delivered by the Executive in the near future. Today, we are sending an early signal of intent to our citizens through the First Step Stimulus package.
“The Executive has agreed £15million for roads structural maintenance and a further £10million will be made available for the purchase of new buses. This will provide a welcome boost to our construction and manufacturing sectors whilst delivering improvements in our transport infrastructure.”
Máirtín Ó Muilleoir continued: “The package also includes £5million for a Community Regeneration Fund. I believe that targeted regeneration will help to build upon the progress our society has made in recent years and act as a lever to stimulate economic growth in the communities where it is most needed.”
The First Step Stimulus package will be funded through borrowing flexibility made available under the Stormont House Agreement.
The Minister set out details of a number of other allocations to departments agreed through the October Monitoring round. Resource expenditure allocations totalled £8.9 million and included:
- £4.8million to the Department of Health for Translarna Muscular Dystrophy treatments
- £2.5million to the Department for the Economy for the route development at the City of Derry Airport
- £1.0million to the Department for Education for Irish medium nurture units and other pressures
- £0.6million to the Public Prosecution Service for service pressures
The Minister said: “I am pleased that despite the Westminster imposed austerity placing significant constraints on our Resource budget we have been able to honour a number of commitments in areas that represent high priorities for the Executive. This represents a visible example of real results being delivered by Ministers working together.”
On Capital expenditure, the Minister also detailed allocations totalling £22.7 million, including:
- £13million to the Department for Education for minor works and the purchase of furniture and equipment in schools
- £8.7million for the Department of Health for essential maintenance and defibrillators for ambulances.
- £1.0million to the Department for Infrastructure for investment in LED street lighting.