Targeted extension of rates relief essential provided it is focused on most severely affected sectors, says Farry

A targeted extension of a rates holiday is essential as part of a strategic package of tailored measures to help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic, Alliance MP Stephen Farry has said. Finance Minister Conor Murphy has announced the deferral of the issuing of rates for businesses from this month until June. Dr Farry said there […]

Delay and problems with grant scheme may exacerbate dire circumstances for many companies, says Muir

The delay and problems in launching the portal for hospitality, tourism, retail and leisure businesses to apply for a grant means some companies will be in even more dire circumstances, Alliance Finance spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has said. Mr Muir was speaking as the portal, allowing such businesses to apply for £25,000 aid, was launched […]

Social enterprises need urgent support, says Dickson

Urgent support needs to be given to social enterprises in Northern Ireland to help them survive the coronavirus pandemic, Alliance Economy spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has said. Mr Dickson, Chair of the Assembly All-Party Group on Social Enterprise, has written to Economy Minister Diane Dodds outlining his concern regarding the current funding situation, saying unless […]

Local guidelines on those with autism leaving home during lockdown need updated, says Blair

Local guidelines relating to people with autism or learning disabilities being able to leave their homes more than once a day to exercise during the COVID-19 lockdown need to be updated to reflect UK Government advice, Alliance MLA John Blair has said. Mr Blair was speaking after raising the issue at today’s meeting of the […]

Fairness and equity must be at heart of exam grading process, says Lyttle

Fairness and equity must be at the heart of the process awarding pupils grades in the cancelled GCSE, AS and A-Levels, Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said. It follows Education Minister Peter Weir confirming teachers will predict the grades they think pupils would have achieved, with schools also asked to rank pupils in […]

Tennyson calls on universities to introduce no-detriment policies to mitigate coronavirus impact

Alliance Councillor Eóin Tennyson has called on universities and the Minister for the Economy to introduce ‘no-detriment’ policies to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on students in third level education. Councillor Tennyson, a former Queen’s University student, said it was an anxious time for students, who had had their education severely disrupted by COVID-19. “Our […]

Bradshaw welcomes proposed extra support for those arranging own care at home

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has welcomed proposed extra financial support from the Department of Health for those arranging their own care at home. The South Belfast MLA said: “Those arranging their own care at home, in receipt of direct payments, need to be catered for in relation to the distribution of PPE and extra […]

Financial assistance to businesses needs to be sped up, says Muir

Financial assistance to businesses needs to be sped up, Alliance Finance spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has said. Mr Muir was speaking following the announcement of £40 million additional funding to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The North Down MLA said the money should not be “caught up in delays and elongated application processes”. […]