Council Welcomes £24M Local Government Funding Package And Extended Rates Relief
The Chair of Mid Ulster District Council has welcomed the latest funding package to ease financial pressures faced by businesses and councils themselves.
Councillor Martin Kearney was speaking after the NI Executive announced an extension of the business rates scheme which will see the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic pay no rates for the full financial year up until 31 March 2021, together with measures to support local councils which are facing severe financial losses as a result of the pandemic.
“The hospitality, tourism and retail sectors were among the earliest businesses to be hit - and hit hard - as a result of coronavirus and many will also be among the last to be able to begin the recovery of their businesses.
“The relief on payment of their rates for the remainder of the financial year will be, for some, the difference between recovery or closure.
Commenting on the £20.3M for all councils to offset losses and a further £3.8M to address waste issues, Councillor Kearney said:
“The financial losses which councils are facing as a result of the pandemic are significant and in Mid Ulster alone are approximately £620K per month.
“As well as taking steps directly to mitigate these losses, we have been lobbying individually and collectively for central government support and news of this £20.3M funding for the sector is very welcome, as is the specific allocation of monies to offset the additional costs which we are incurring from waste collection and treatment at this time.
“Despite the challenges, we remain committed to providing essential services to our residents, to supporting our local communities through these difficult times and to planning for recovery, in line with guidance, over the next weeks and months.
The Council awaits details of specific allocations of the funding to Mid Ulster.