£200 for every home a ‘much needed’ boost
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Finance Minister, Conor Murphy yesterday announced the £200 voucher scheme for every home in the north as part of a £300m support package for businesses and to protect vulnerable people. It is expected the vouchers will be issued in early January to be used in local shops, although the exact details of how it will work will be confirmed at a later date.
Speaking as non-essential businesses prepared to close for a fortnight from Friday, Mr. Murphy said: “Our businesses are facing huge challenges and are under immense pressure. Today we’ve agreed a significant business support package worth £213m. This includes £95million for a High Street Voucher Scheme for a pre-paid card for use on the high street.”
A new range of supports were also announced for non-essential businesses now forced to close, and specific supports for wet pubs and Bed and Breakfasts.
It was also confirmed yesterday that a one-off £200 Covid-19 Heating Payment will be automatically issued in late January to people in receipt of Pension Credit, as well as those receiving the highest rates of Attendance Allowance, PIP and DLA, including children.
Welcoming the Voucher Scheme, Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton said it will bring “much needed additional trade to our local shops”.
Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson said it will “give money to workers and families to spend in local shops to help support businesses struggling as a result of COVID-19”.