£410 million additional funding for Stormont

The Northern Ireland Executive is to receive £410 million in additional funding as part of the Chancellor's budget.

Rishi Sunak made the announcement in the House of Commons where he also said he would increase funding for the Scottish government by £1.2 billion and the Welsh government by £740 million.

Alongside the extra money for the devolved administrations, an extension to the furlough scheme to September was announced across the UK.

However, employers will need to contribute from July.

The £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit is also set to continue for another six month.

The stamp holiday has also been extended for house buyers, along with a new scheme to help people purchase homes with a smaller 5% deposit.

The stamp duty cut has also been extended, while a new scheme will help people buy homes with a five percent deposit.

More money for businesses was also announced, with an extra £5 billion promised for restart grants, high streets and hospitality.

Rishi Sunak delivering his Budget to the House of Commons Credit: House of Commons/PA

The business rates holiday during the pandemic has also been extended.

In the longer term, corporate tax is set to rise to 25% from 2023.

All alcohol duties are to be frozen for the second year in a row and the planned increase in fuel duty has also been scrapped.

However speaking on UTV Live, Stormont's Finance Minister says everyday public spending will only increase by £4.2 million, with the additional funding only being a one-off boost to the Covid response.

Mr Murphy added: "Almost all of this money is one-off funding for the Covid response, which is welcome as we look to the recovery phase, however, it still leaves us with a flat-cash budget for mainstream public services.

"It is also disappointing that there is no extra capital money to spur economic recovery.

"An investment-led approach is absolutely critical given we have never fully emerged from years of austerity measures."

Mr Murphy said: "The biggest concern of many employers is wage costs, so the extension of the furlough scheme until the end of September is good news for workers, families and businesses.

"However I am concerned that asking employers who may not be fully operational to find the cash for these wage costs could lead to redundancies.

"It's also welcome that the Chancellor will support newly self-employed people."

He also said the direction of travel for dealing with replacement EU funding is a "significant" cause for concern.

Reacting to the Chancellors UK Budget statement, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said it includes a mixture of "positive and not so positive measures for the business community in Northern Ireland”

Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of Retail NI, said the idea from Robin Swann was a ‘non-runner’ Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

Mr Roberts has welcomed the extension of the furlough scheme however he said the confirmation that employers must contribute to the scheme means that the Executive must "clarify the timescale of its ‘strategy’ of lifting restrictions and allowing businesses to reopen” He says there are now questions for the Northern Ireland Executive and the Finance Minister, particularly on how businesses will be supported with the new money announced by Mr Sunak.

“The Chancellor outlined proposals for a £6k Restart Grant per premises for independent retailers and other businesses - this is something we want our own Executive to introduce in Northern Ireland,” Mr Roberts said. “Rishi Sunak has also introduced a year of rate relief for independent retailers in England and this is something our members expect to be brought forward by own Finance Minister."

Mr Roberts has also raised questions surrounding the planned changes to corporation tax.

“The increase of Corporation Tax could potentially cause problems for our recovery and poses huge questions for the future of Northern Ireland having a similar rate to RoI.

"That being said, it is welcome that some smaller businesses will be protected from this increase with the maintained 19% small profits rate”