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DUP MLA for Mid Ulster and Assembly Chief Whip Keith Buchanan has called for the business rates holiday to be extended for 12 months.

Mr Buchanan was speaking after The Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP) published a report examining the economic impact of Covid-19 on Council areas across all the UK regions and indicated Mid Ulster could be the worst hit in Northern Ireland and one of the worst hit across the whole United Kingdom.

Commenting Mr Buchanan said,

“Mid Ulster is the engineering and heavy manufacturing hub of Northern Ireland and supports thousands of jobs. For these companies to weather the Covid-19 crisis, they need to be helped navigate the recovery as well.

Whilst businesses in the rest of the United Kingdom have been given a rates holiday for 12 months, the Finance Minister in Northern Ireland has only given a three-month break. For over three weeks we have been asking him to extend this to 12 months.

This CPP report should cause him to think again. Businesses are struggling with cash flow. Being able to remove their rates bill from their outgoings would be a massive help.”