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East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has said the UK Government support to Northern Ireland through the COVID-19 pandemic has increased to around £130million every week

The figure has increased from previous calculations after applications to the Self Employed Support scheme are included and regional figures for the job retention ‘furlough’ scheme were published.

The DUP MP said, “The figures published by the Government at the end of May showed that 211,700 people in Northern Ireland were furloughed. The Self-Employed Support Scheme opened for applications on 13th May, and received 69,000 applications locally.

These figures mean that during May, some £579million of UK Government economic support was provided to Northern Ireland. These are truly remarkable figures, coming to nearly £20million every day.

With all retail now permitted to open in Northern Ireland, and our hospitality industry looking towards the commencement of some operations this level of support should reduce. However, given the figures for both April and May, it is inevitable that total support for Northern Ireland will top out at over £1billion pounds. This is of course on top of the annual £10bn subvention we receive each year.

The challenges facing us over the coming months should not be underestimated and there will be difficult times ahead as we seek to rebuild. However, without this vital economic support from the UK government the scenario facing us today would be unimaginable.”