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Responding to figures received from Finance Minister Conor Murphy MLA, showing that £2.2bn of additional funding has been provided to Northern Ireland to respond to COVID-19, DUP MP Carla Lockhart has said that once again we see the benefits of being part of the United Kingdom.

The Upper Bann representative said:

“Coronavirus has demanded an exceptional government response. Additional support for our health service, for business, for education, for those who are vulnerable, culture, arts, sporting organisations has not been optional, it has been essential.

The figures released by the Finance Minister show that in Northern Ireland, we have been supported in these responses by our membership of the UK, to the tune of £2.2bn. That is a remarkable figure, additional to the funding already provided to Northern Ireland through the Barnett formula.

Such vast sums of money have enabled the NI Executive, alongside HM Government, to protect our health, protect jobs and much more. Indeed, it has far exceeded the support made available by other European countries.

Those who advocate the breaking up of the Union, whether they be here in Northern Ireland, or in Scotland, need to be honest and level with the public that such financial might would not be possible without the weight of the Treasury behind it.

Only three of the twelve regions in the UK are net contributors to Treasury but as unionists, we must always look at ways of contributing more and being less dependent on a subvention. That will strengthen Northern Ireland and the Union.”