Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced the unlocking of £33million to help councils address the impact of the cost of living crisis.
Speaking at a meeting of the Partnership Panel, Minister Hargey said:
“The cost of living crisis is having a major impact on councils which play a vital role at the heart of the community, providing essential services and support every day to families, homes and businesses.
“Despite the challenges due to the absence of a functioning Executive and agreed Executive budget I have been able, working alongside the Finance Minister Conor Murphy and the Department of Finance, to unlock council reserve funds to mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis, in the context of the ongoing Covid recovery.
“My officials will continue to work with councils to use this money so that families and workers feel the benefit in their council area.”
A total of £102m in ring-fenced funds was provided by the Department for Communities in the business years 2020/21 and 2021/22 to alleviate the impact of exceptional losses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The remaining £33m funds can now be used to support ongoing recovery in the context of increased operating costs.
Notes to editors:
- The Partnership Panel comprises elected members from central government (Ministers), local government (a councillor from each of the 11 district councils and the five Office bearers from the Northern Ireland Local Government Association).
- The Panel meets three or four times a year to discuss matters of mutual interest and of regional and strategic importance to both central and local government.
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