‘It is not possible to design and fund schemes for every sector of business or employment group across our society’ says Diane Dodds
In a written question the SDLP economy spokesperson asked the minister whether she will introduce a new scheme to support self-employed workers, who had not qualified for other COVID-19 income support schemes.
Mrs. Dodds replied: “The Northern Ireland Executive and the UK Government have introduced a wide range of business support schemes to help ease the extraordinary burden that has been placed on entire communities and our local economy, due to the ongoing global pandemic.
“A number of these schemes and other financial support packages have been specifically designed and targeted at those who fall within the broad ‘self-employed’ category.”
“To date, my Department has provided over £370 million of lifeline support to over 30,000 businesses and individuals, and is currently delivering millions of pounds to thousands more,” she added.
The Economy Minister went on to state that, ‘whilst the Executive and my own Department continue to receive calls for specific targeted support, it is not possible to design and fund schemes for every sector of business or employment group across our society’. She said: “Ultimately however, it will be for the Executive collectively to determine how any new or additional Covid related funding should be allocated.”