Donnelly says focus must be on regeneration after pandemic

The focus across West Tyrone must be on regenerating town centres and allowing villages to prosper after the pandemic, Alliance’s Stephen Donnelly has said.   Councillor Donnelly, recently selected as Alliance’s West Tyrone spokesperson, said towns and villages throughout the constituency had been deeply damaged by the effects of COVID-19 and its consequences but as […]

Armstrong welcomes youth employment scheme but says it should have been established months ago

Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said while a new scheme for youth employment is welcome, it should have been established months ago. The JobStart scheme, which was originally due last year, is designed to support 16-24-year-olds who are facing difficulties getting into employment due to the pandemic. Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong said the […]

Universal basic income could get people back on feet financially, says Brown

A roll-out of universal basic income (UBI) could get people back on their feet financially in the recovery from the COVID pandemic, Alliance South Down representative Patrick Brown has said.   Councillor Brown, recently selected as Alliance’s representative for the constituency, said a new group established to explore the feasibility of UBI trials in Northern […]

Dickson welcomes long overdue support for travel agents

Alliance Economy spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has welcomed a major support package which has been announced for travel agents. The £1.175 million scheme will provide support to travel agents for eventual reopening, and adjusting to the challenges of the pandemic. It will include a flat payment of £10,000 for businesses operating from retail premises and […]

Dickson welcomes extension to business support scheme

Alliance Economy spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has welcomed an announcement support schemes covering the cost of COVID restrictions will be extended until the end of the month. Economy Minister Diane Dodds said payments under the COVID Restrictions Business Support Scheme and the Large Tourism Hospitality Business Support Scheme would continue until March 31, to cover […]

Departments need to ensure planned spending so no money handed back, says Muir

Executive Departments need to ensure planned spending is carried out so no money is handed back to Westminster, Alliance Finance spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has said. Mr Muir was speaking during an Assembly debate relating to a motion on the supply of cash and use of resources by Departments in the current financial year, and […]

Political stunts have consequences, says John Blair

Alliance MLA John Blair has responded to a statement from the DAERA Minister, warning of the consequences of political stunts. In calling out the “irresponsible” move, John said the action would only “disrupt an essential process for some of our crucial economic sectors, such as agriculture and agrifood”. He added: “Any actions to stall completion […]

Dickson concerned Economic Recovery Plan will be unworkable

Alliance Economy Spokesperson, Stewart Dickson MLA, has expressed his concerns that the Economy Minister’s recently published Economic Recovery Action Plan cannot be effectively implemented unless an Executive-wide approach is taken. The Economic Recovery Plan, published today by the Department for the Economy, sets out how the Department seeks to navigate Northern Ireland’s economic recovery from […]

Dickson calls for support for the leisure and entertainment sector

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has called for the Economy Minister to widen the Large Tourism and Hospitality Business Support Scheme, to include leisure and entertainment businesses over £51,001 NAV. The Alliance Economy spokesperson said: “For almost a year now, leisure and tourism businesses have been unable to trade normally, or even been required to close […]