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DUP MLA for Strangford Michelle McIlveen MLA who also Chairs the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Infrastructure Committee, has expressed disappointment that action is only being taken now to assist the haulage, coach and taxi industries despite calls in July for the Infrastructure Minister to bring forward proposals.

The DUP MLA raised this matter as Point of Order at the beginning of the Assembly sitting on Monday.

Ms McIlveen said,

"On 7th July the Northern Ireland Assembly passed a motion calling on the Infrastructure Minister to bring forward proposals to support the haulage, coach and taxi industries.

It is disappointing therefore that more than two months later it required a letter from the First Minister and Deputy First Minister for action to be taken. It will always be an easier option to find reasons why not to act, but during unprecedented times, it needed the Minister to be pro-active. Indeed, the recent NI Audit Office report showed that DfE had progressed 20 different schemes to help hard hit sectors whilst DfI had progressed just 6 schemes at a fraction of the cost.

Powers to administer a scheme for coaches, taxies and hauliers would have had to be granted to any other Department, just like DfI, if they were to lead on the issue. That simply is not a reason or justification for inaction. That is just an excuse. It’s time for the Minister to stop with the bluster and get on with delivery for hard pressed sectors.

The haulage, coach and taxi industries have needed help for some time and they will have been looking for the Minister to take the responsibility asked of them by the Assembly and bring forward proposals for assistance to the Executive."