Secretary of State pressed on help for flood victims

DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP and Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart have met with the Northern Ireland Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris to press for a flood payment scheme to help flood victims in Northern Ireland. South Down MLA Diane Forsythe and Strangford MP Jim Shannon also attended the meeting in Westminster.

By Carla Lockhart MP

Upper Bann

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Party Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson commented:

“This was a positive meeting and I remain hopeful that the Government will step up and provide this much needed additional funding. We will continue to engage with local businesses and homeowners in all areas affected by this flooding in order to identify their needs in terms of recovery.

We will also take forward our discussions with the relevant Northern Ireland departments to ensure that there is a coordinated approach in designing a scheme that will deliver this additional support for both businesses and households here as quickly as possible.”

Speaking afterwards Carla Lockhart said,

“There are scores of businesses in Northern Ireland who have been pushed to the point of bankruptcy by the recent flooding. Most of these are in retail but there are manufacturing, agri-food and farm businesses also hard hit. Such are the costs of reopening, some are considering just pulling the shutters down.

Whilst homeowners will have their £1,000 emergency flood payment, this does not go far in restoring a home to its pre-flood condition or paying for alternative accommodation.

It is vital that the UK Government steps in and provides the kind of assistance that is needed in our flood hit communities, similar to that offered in other parts of the UK. Jobs and livelihoods are on the line.

We have underscored with the Secretary of State the need to secure Treasury funds to provide a substantial scheme in Northern Ireland which can help people and businesses through this crisis.”

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