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Economic Situation: Northern Ireland

Question for Northern Ireland Office

UIN HL15151, tabled on 21 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, what steps they are taking to work with the Northern Ireland Executive to encourage the recovery of the Northern Ireland economy.

Answered on

29 April 2021

The UK Government is committed to levelling up and promoting economic growth across the whole of the UK to ensure that no community is left behind, particularly as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Government has already taken steps to support individuals and businesses in Northern Ireland by providing £3.8bn funding to the Executive to help fight coronavirus.

In addition, Northern Ireland businesses and individuals have benefited from UK-wide support measures such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme which have both been extended to September 2021. The UK Government has also provided over £1.3bn in government-backed loan schemes to businesses in Northern Ireland, protecting jobs across the region.

The Government is also driving forward investment in Northern Ireland. We are delivering a comprehensive and ambitious set of City and Growth Deals across Northern Ireland, which will help key sectors to flourish, committing more than £600m to this program. In February, the UK Government signed the Heads of Terms on the Derry/Londonderry and Strabane City Deal, which will support a range of projects in the North West region. We are also investing £400m to support the NI economy through the New Deal for Northern Ireland and have committed over £500m to the PEACE PLUS programme, which will carry out vital work that promotes peace and reconciliation and contributes to the cross-border economic and territorial development of the region.

The Government has also recently announced the creation of several new funds, which will create opportunities for further investment in people, communities and infrastructure. This includes the UK Community Renewal Fund, the Levelling Up Fund and the Community Ownership Fund, each of which, organisations in Northern Ireland will be able to bid into specific funding.

All of this additional funding comes on top of £2bn of support for the New Decade, New Approach Agreement and measures to help traders navigate new arrangements as part of the Northern Ireland/Ireland Protocol.

The Government welcomes the Executive’s roadmap to recovery and we want to see Northern Ireland realise its economic potential. We will continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive to maximise opportunities for economic recovery and growth, both now, in Northern Ireland’s Centenary year, and in the long-term.